Virgin Hotels Dallas wins Equity Leadership award
Virgin Hotels Dallas, located in the Dallas Design District, has been honoured with the Equity Leadership award. The Equity Leadership award is given each year to a corporation in the Dallas community that supports efforts that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Since the hotel opened in 2019, Virgin Hotels Dallas has supported local organisations that champion diversity and equity such as Cafe Momentum, Unlock Potential, and My Possibilities. Through these initiatives, the hotel has been able to provide mentorship and employment opportunities to justice-involved youth as well as adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It is an honour for Virgin Hotels Dallas to be recognised as a leader in diversity within the Dallas community,” says Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group. “Creating an inclusive environment where our guests and teammates always feel welcomed to be who they are has always been our priority at Virgin.”
Looking ahead, Virgin Hotels Dallas will continue to evolve their diversity program with new partnerships, teammate training, and more.
The hotel is also committed to being Autism Double Checked by the end of 2024. As according to the online autism training company, over 20 million people are parents to one or more children with autism and due to the current landscape and lack of autism-friendly travel experiences, 87% of parents of autistic children currently do not travel or take family vacations. However, 93% of parents with autistic children said they would travel if autistic-friendly travel experiences were available.
With the certification, teammates at Virgin Hotels Dallas will undergo neurodiversity training and guests with special needs will receive a detailed visitors guide ahead of their stay that highlights potential sensory issues such as crowds, temperature, noise, body awareness and more.
In addition to the Autism Double Checked commitment, Virgin Hotels Dallas will also implement a new policy with Hidden Disabilities that will allow teammates and guests to wear a sunflower lanyard that indicates that they have a non-visible disability and may need more time or assistance.
The brand’s commitment to diversity goes beyond external partnerships. Internally, Virgin Hotels strives to hire individuals that are reflective of the world and encompass a variety of racial background and genders. In an effort to be the most inclusive employer in the hotel industry, Virgin Hotels launched the J.E.D.I program which stands for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion - the idea behind this people-focused approach is to implement new guidelines for community partners, recruitment, and training in a phased approach.