This week, Hilton joins some of the biggest names from across industries at the MAKERS Conference in California. Hilton is the only hospitality company to join the prestigious organization. Laura Fuentes, senior vice president of talent, rewards and HR consulting, is a MAKERS board member and shares more about Hilton’s commitment to women.

Q: Hilton shared some exciting news during the MAKERS Conference. Can you tell us about it?

Laura: We pledge to make Hilton a great place to work where all women thrive – from our housekeepers to our executives – by investing in every stage of their experience with us, including high school completion assistance, ivy league leadership courses, best-in-class programs for parents, fully paid sabbatical programs and setting a bold strategy to achieve gender parity at our leadership levels.

Q: Why is this pledge important to Hilton?

Laura: It’s critical for us to empower women around the world and continue to make Hilton a place where all women can thrive and meet their potential, regardless of their roles. As a business of people serving people, we truly believe that our success is dependent upon Team Members bringing their full, authentic selves to work every day, so they can deliver exceptional experiences for our guests.

Q: How do you empower women at Hilton?

Laura: That’s a great question, and a big one, as we’re a complex workforce of more than 400,000 Team Members in 113 countries and territories around the world, representing more than 170 nationalities. We have many overarching programs designed to help the individual career paths, aspirations and needs of the men and women in our organization, regardless of background or role. We know that our various populations, from our on-property team members to those in our corporate offices, may have different personal and professional needs. We listen carefully to team member feedback and develop programs based on these unique needs.

Q: Can you elaborate on some of the programs that impact women at Hilton?

Laura: Absolutely. One example is our parental benefits. We deliberately didn’t design our maternity and adoption assistance programs for corporate or executive only. This means that we are providing the same best-in-class maternity and parental leave, as well as adoption assistance, to our hourly and corporate populations.

We look for ways to incorporate flexibility, and we’ve achieved this for our hourly team members by providing 10 day advanced scheduling. Our team members can plan their lives and book appointments much easier.

We also offer GED assistance to help hourly Team Members in the U.S. earn their high school equivalency through free one-on-one advising and test preparation support. Hilton also covers the cost of taking GED tests.

Another popular resource for our corporate offices are Women’s Team Member Resource Groups. Global chapters provide a safe space for women to meet and network and host leadership panels, conversations and foster mentoring relationships.

Q: Are you doing anything specifically at the leadership and development level?

Laura: In addition to leadership development and ensuring equal representation in our current and emerging leader programs, we support women at every milestone throughout their careers to build a pipeline of future leaders. All of our executive committee members, including our CEO, regularly mentor emerging women leaders who are diverse in functional areas, geographic locations and expertise on a regular basis.

Q: Thanks for your time Laura. Enjoy the conference!

Laura: Thank you! I’m excited to attend the conference—my first since joining the MAKERS Board. We’re also thrilled to have four MAKERS Awardees from our Hilton team: Jon Muñoz, Patricia Page Champion and Sharon Apricena for their work advancing efforts with our Team Members and Kellyn Smith Kenny for her focus on women in external storytelling and marketing. We’re looking forward to connecting with industry leaders and continuing to make Hilton a great place to work for all women.

For more about Hilton’s commitment to empowering women, take a look at Hilton’s Diversity & Inclusion Brochure.

Learn more about what MAKERS Conference by visiting MAKERS.com and join the conversation on social media using @MAKERSConference.

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising nearly 4,900 properties with more than 796,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world”s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company’s portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where Hilton HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.