ROCKVILLE, Md. — Choice Hotels International has been recognized as a top franchise committed to diversity, equity and inclusion by Entrepreneur magazine. The first-ever ranking conducted by the publication named Choice Hotels among the top-50 brands in the franchising industry.
For nearly 20 years, Choice Hotels’ emerging-markets team has been dedicated to making small business ownership a reality for under-represented and minority entrepreneurs. Since the program began, the company has awarded and financially supported more than 310 franchise agreements, including 24 deals awarded last year despite the pandemic. Early this year, in an effort to expand its support, the company developed the newly enhanced HERtels by Choice, a program that leverages a multi-faceted approach to empower women hotel ownership.
The top-50 brands were selected based on variety of reasons, including franchisee fee discounts and other assistance to help those who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC), women or LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, community initiatives, corporate and franchise-level programs and representation among their leadership team, franchisees and employees.
“Cultivating an inclusive culture – in which diversity of thought, background and experience are celebrated – is a commitment driven at the top of the organization that extends to every facet of the company, from our corporate associates to our franchise owners and their guests,” says Patrick Cimerola, Chief Human Resources Officer, Choice Hotels. “This latest ranking by Entrepreneur isn’t just a testament to our ability to live out Choice’s brand promise of ensuring everyone who walks through our doors feel welcome, wanted, and respected, but speaks to the many initiatives our company continues to undertake to fuel diversity and equitable opportunity across the entire hotel industry.”
“Entrepreneur‘s first-ever selection of brands to our new Top Franchises for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion list highlights the extraordinary efforts the franchising industry has made to diversify its ranks,” says Liane Caruso, senior vice-president of Franchising, Entrepreneur. “The companies recognized by our editorial team underscore some of the ways that several franchise brands have focused on championing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and are providing meaningful and accessible opportunities for everyone to live their dream of being an entrepreneur.”