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J. Willard Marriott, Jr. Diversity Excellence Award

Named for our founder, the J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence recognizes the company’s finest. These are the associates who consistently demonstrate outstanding achievement, character, dedication, effort and perseverance.

J.W. Marriott, Jr. Diversity Excellence Award

Costa Rica Marriott Hotel Hacienda Belén 

With a successful history of championing and infusing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout their operations, the Costa Rica Marriott Hacienda Belén is this year’s winner of the J. Willard Marriott, Jr. Diversity Excellence Award.

The hotel aligns each of their DEI programs and initiatives with Marriott’s core value to “put people first.” The implementation of inclusive practices, openness and respect toward all individuals are a natural outcome of putting people first.

To ensure that the hotel creates psychologically safe spaces and an inclusive culture for associates, leaders established a Diversity Committee. The committee also develops training programs and activities to facilitate inclusivity.

In 2023, the hotel focused efforts on supporting local indigenous peoples, creating opportunities for diverse and LGBTQ+ communities, partnering with minority-owned businesses, fostering gender equality in management, and championing the furtherance of people with disabilities. Highlights include:

  • Forming an alliance with the Oropopo Indigenous Research Center to raise awareness of Costa Rica’s indigenous culture and hosting workshops + fairs for local indigenous communities. 
  • Developing Mercaditos Verdes, a program aimed at supporting local entrepreneurs by providing them with sales and promotional space on the hotel premises. More than 70 minority-owned businesses have participated and three have become direct suppliers for the hotel.
  • Collaborating with the Institute on Migration and LGBTIQ Refuge for Central America (IRCA Casa Abierta) to implement diversity programs in support of LGBTQ+ migrants and refugees. The hotel has also become an active participant in the local Pride Month activities, joining the Pride Parade with a float and changing its hotel lights in recognition of Pride Month.
  • Achieving significant representation of women in leadership roles, which demonstrates their commitment to gender equality and fostering a more inclusive workforce. It officially endorsed the Women’s Empowerment Principles, as established by UN Women and UN Global Compact. Efforts are underway to ensure the presence of women in middle management roles across the hotel. They’ve hosted empowerment workshops and networking events. Currently, within management positions, 53% are men and 47% are women. The Executive Committee is comprised of 50% men, 50% women.
  • Providing support for people with disabilities by inviting experts from the National Council for Persons with Disabilities to enhance customer service for people with disabilities. They have also raised money to support training programs directly for people with disabilities to find meaningful work in local businesses and government.

The Costa Rica Marriott Hacienda Belén takes pride in and has worked hard to create an environment that truly welcomes all and allows both associates and guests alike to be their most authentic selves at work and in their community. The hotel happily invites new and repeat guests to experience their warm and genuine ability to put people first.