guide to 30 historic black landmarks, as well as museums and
IMAX programs in Spanish;
•A Wisconsin city broadcasts its
commitment to diversity in its brochure, showcasing the area’s increase in Latino-owned businesses and pointing out attractions
such as the Asian Moon Festival
and Mexican Fiesta;
• A city in Southern California recruits
multicultural meeting planners,
wooing them with events such as
the Vietnamese Tet Festival, the
annual Black History Month Kum-ba Fest, the Linda Vista Multicultural Fair, the Jewish Arts Festival
and the Lesbian and Gay Pride
Parade and Festival;
• Florida distributes a guidebook of
four-day driving tours, pointing travelers to heritage trails of blacks,
Native Americans and Cubans.
In leisure travel, families are king.
“But family travel is now being defined very differently,” says Kay.
“Now, it might be grandparents,
Ethnic Household Trip Spending
Asian-American households spend the most on their trips. They average $514 per
household trip, excluding transporation costs to the destination, compared to the
U.S. average of $457. Latino and black households spend an average of $480 and
$428 per trip, respectively.
Less than $100
100 = Total U.S. Domestic Household Trips
U.S. Average $457
Source: Travel Industry Association of America
Diversity Is a Sure Bet at MGM MIRAGE
The casino industry is built on measures and
metrics, more so than many other industries.
At MGM MIRAGE, the company’s internal auditors have expanded those measurements to
include diversity data as well. Each year, auditors scrutinize everything from supplier data to
employee turnover, and then share their findings at the corporation’s annual diversity meeting. Similar to a shareholders’ meeting, the ga-
thering attracts more than 1,000 employees,
journalists, suppliers and business and community leaders
who scrutinize the findings and search for ways to improve.
“We don’t try to fuzzy the numbers; we try to get them
as clean and as accurate as where we are, ” says Punam
Mathur, MGM MIRAGE senior vice-president, corporate diversity and community affairs. “If we want to get focused
on getting better, we need to know where we are.”
This Commitment to Openness and Accountability, as
the company calls it, is part of MGM MIRAGE’s proactive
approach to communicating diversity. Efforts include:
• Project City Center. Currently under development, this
estimated $7 billion initiative is the largest privately financed construction project in the United States. It will be a
city unto itself on the Las Vegas Strip. “We are
building diversity from the ground up in that
enterprise, ” says Mathur. MGM MIRAGE already
requires MWDBE participation in all construction
contracts. In this project, the general contractor
will pay damages if participation is lacking.
• Diversity Champion Training. Half of MGM
MIRAGE’s 70,000 workers are ethnically diverse.
The company tries to ensure that they all share
the same corporate values. Employees gather
25 at a time and plunge into a three-day course. They’re
sequestered and immersed in team dynamics, putting
them squarely in the face of their own stereotypes. The
course runs year-round.
• Reverse Tradeshows. MGM MIRAGE assembles all
the company’s key purchasing decision-makers and
makes them available for suppliers. Buyers reveal what,
when and how they buy. The most recent conference
attracted more than 1,500 vendors.
Says Mathur, “Diversity is not a thing you do. It’s a value
system. The single smartest thing we ever did was say
there’s no shortcut to value systems. It’s slow and it’s expensive, but it’s the only way to do it.”