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Hyatt commits $1 million to Women for Women International

Woman in Iraq being offered income opportunities by Andaz. Photo: Hyatt

Women in Iraq being offered income opportunities by Andaz. Photo: Hyatt

A four-year partnership has been set up to help support the education and empowerment of more than 60,000 women in war-torn countries around the world

Hyatt Hotels has announced that its subsidiary has initiated a four-year, one million dollar partnership with Women for Women International [1], a global development organization that offers education, training and income generation opportunities for marginalized women in areas impacted by war and conflict. The investment will help support more than 60,000 women in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kosovo – regions in urgent need of support and countries where many Hyatt colleagues around the world were born and raised and still have family members living there.

The newly announced partnership is rooted in Hyatt’s long-term commitment to women – to better serve its female guests and to foster and support career opportunities for its female colleagues. Women@Hyatt, the company’s business resource group connecting female colleagues around the globe, will be tapped to help shape and evolve the relationship to fuel engagement and participation among all levels of the organization.

As we continue to place a strong emphasis on supporting, empowering and championing our female colleagues and guests, it is just as critical for us to provide those same opportunities to other women around the world

Robb Webb, Chief Human Resources Officer for Hyatt continues, “We are thrilled to be taking our relationship with Women for Women International to an enterprise-wide level since the organization gets to the heart of what Hyatt is all about. We believe that education and opportunity are critical to thriving communities. We believe that empowering and championing women is crucial to the long-term success of companies. And we believe that caring and investing in our colleagues and their communities will make a difference.”

The partnership comes on the heels of a successful collaboration with Women for Women International and Hyatt’s Andaz [2] brand, where women in Iraq were offered income generation and skills training opportunities by learning to sew laundry bags that were placed in Andaz guestrooms around the world. In addition to financially benefiting the women that created them, the bags served as a powerful symbol of hope and inspiration to both Andaz guests and colleagues.  The impact of that effort moved Hyatt to commit to a larger relationship with the organization.

“This partnership is not just something that is mobilized from our headquarters – it goes beyond our walls in Chicago and focuses on the support we can provide as a global organization to women all around the world,” said Webb.  “We operate in many countries that provide challenges and obstacles for women, and we hope that our collaboration with Women for Women International will position us as advocates for positive change.”

“When I found out that Hyatt was partnering with Women for Women International, it reminded me why I love working for this company so much,” said a housekeeper from Park Hyatt Chicago. “I grew up in Bosnia and still have family there, and I know firsthand the conflict and devastation that plagues the country. It provides me with peace of mind to know that Hyatt will provide real opportunities for women in my country, just like Hyatt has provided me with an amazing opportunity to grow and succeed through my career with the company.”

Last evening, Hyatt received the 2014 Active Citizen Award from Women for Women International during the organization’s annual gala at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The recognition was given to Hyatt for its commitment to Women for Women International’s mission and dedication to supporting women around the world. ​

Since 1993, Women for Women International (WfWI) has provided women survivors of war, civil strife, and other conflicts with resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. WfWI delivers these resources through a tiered, yearlong program that begins with direct financial aid and emotional support. Participants also learn about their legal rights; receive life-skills training such as health awareness, numeracy, budgeting and saving, decision-making and negotiation, and civic participation; learn business and vocational skills; and gain access to income-generating activities where they can apply those skills and begin moving towards economic stability.

"This exciting new chapter in our partnership with Hyatt brings critical resources to women survivors of war and conflict, as well as opportunities for Women@Hyatt members to learn, share and connect with women we serve,” said Jennifer L. Windsor, CEO of Women for Women International.  “We celebrate Hyatt for its vision and commitment to empowering women worldwide.”

For more information about Women for Women International, please visit: www.womenforwomen.org [1] and find out more about Hyatt's CSR initiatives here on Green Hotelier [3].