Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson speaks on the company’s achievement of its goal to spend $500 million in 2019 with women-owned businesses worldwide with Women’s Business Enterprises National Conference & Business Fair President and CEO Pam Prince Eason at the WBENC Business Fair on June 27.

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL EXPECTS to spend $500 million in 2019 with women-owned businesses, meeting one year early a milestone set in 2015 to double its annual spend with that segment. The amount includes spending by Marriott’s managed hotels and corporate offices.

The $500 million will go to businesses in various parts of the world, such as Chinese companies that provide the hotel company with slippers, coffee and banqueting furniture; fragrance, cold press juices and linen companies in India; and food product and artwork providers in the U.S. Marriott also pledged earlier this year that it would spend $100 million above regular spending levels on women-owned businesses worldwide.

“A diversified supply chain is important to us as a company because it reflects our culture of empowering people through opportunity,” said Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson. “But these women-owned businesses aren’t just supporting Marriott. They are contributing to the overall economy by creating jobs, renting commercial space, innovating new product lines and serving as business and civic leaders. Their success is a win for everyone.”

The increased support for women-owned businesses is part of Marriott’s sustainability and social impact platform, “Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction.” It also is part of a broader goal for 2020 to spend $1 billion with diverse-owned businesses, including those owned by minorities, veterans, disabled and members of the LGBTQ community.

“Diversifying our global supply chain with people who represent a variety of communities and backgrounds is not only gratifying – it makes tremendous business sense,” said Ray Bennett, chief global officer of global operations at Marriott International. “Tapping a greater range of entrepreneurs spurs innovation, competition and ultimately business success.”

In another “Serve 360” project, in January Marriott reached its goal to train 500,000 hotel workers to spot and stop human trafficking.