As the self-proclaimed “Entertainment Capital of the World,” Las Vegas is a travel destination to tens of millions of people a year, representing different cultures, languages and nations from around the world. Entertaining the world requires a proficiency in diversity only achieved by a corporation that intentionally embraces the principles of diversity and inclusion in its culture. As the gaming industry’s first company to adopt a diversity initiative 15 years ago, MGM Resorts International has transformed the way we do business by incorporating diversity and inclusion at all levels of our operations. It is the right thing to do, but also, in today’s global economy, it is a business imperative.
From a human resources perspective, our diversity initiative is critically important to fostering an engaged workforce that provides excellent guest experience. With an engaged workforce that reflects the diversity of our guests, we are able to create memorable experiences for people of all cultures, and entertain them in ways that compel them to return time and time again. We likewise recognize that a diversity of perspectives, opinions and thought is crucial to innovation, and innovation is crucial to our continued business success. While there is still much to do, we are proud that 64 percent of our 68,000 employees represent minorities, while more than 50 percent are women.
In addition to diversity in employment, MGM Resorts has made supplier diversity an integral part of our business strategy. Our supplier and construction diversity program affords diverse-owned suppliers, contractors and other professional service providers with greater access to participation in the business of our company, while at the same time enabling us to promote our strategic objectives of quality and price competition to our business advantage. We are proud to have spent a cumulative total of more than $3 billion with diverse-owned suppliers and professional service providers since the start of our supplier and construction diversity program in 2001.
As today’s consumers are increasingly making business choices based on the values that corporations embrace, our sales teams are successfully leveraging our diversity track record to recruit and attract new customers. This targeted approach has resonated with diverse conventions and meeting groups that have selected our properties, not only for their superior accommodations and meeting spaces, but for our shared values related to diversity and inclusion. Moreover, as we expand domestically and internationally, our diversity and inclusion initiative better equips us to build new business alliances. Our leadership in diversity has served a critical role in our ability to earn the opportunity do business in new states, including in Maryland and Massachusetts most recently.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Initiative has forever changed the profile of our company and has become an indispensable element of our way of doing business. We are standing taller today, united in our diversity. Yet as far as we have traveled with this Initiative, we recognize that we have many miles to go.