CEO Linda Bekoe established APLBC in 2020, having spent over 20 years in the travel & hospitality industry.
Alongside running APLBC, Linda has also recently launched bekoe.com, a powerful new platform for luxury independent hotels and managed apartments that easily and effectively delivers managed marketing campaigns on their behalf.
Her energy, passion and commitment to the industry has seen her take up additional roles as a long time Institute of Travel Management (ITM) board member and a Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) member fostering cross-industry relations.
But during all this time, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has been the most important driving force, and the reason APLBC was born.
A prominent voice promoting DEI and the benefits increased diversity brings to the industry, Linda is Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair of the Travel and Meeting Society (TAMS) and a GBTA DEI Committee Member.
And now, we’re delighted, energized and excited to say that APLBC have officially been certified as an MSDUK Ethnic Minority Owned Business (EMB).
MSDUK is a brilliant organisation doing great work promoting DEI and we wanted to be involved. It strives to create equal opportunities by bringing innovative, high growth EMB’s together with global corporations committed to an inclusive and diverse supply chain, in both public and private sectors, to establish a fairer and more equitable economy.
Why supplier diversity is important
The under-representation of EMBs in both public and private sectors not only hinders inclusive growth but deprives large organisations of alternate supply chain options.
Ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) number nearly one million, or just under 16% of all UK registered businesses. EMB’s also employ over 3 million people, or 10% of the UK workforce. However, less than 1% of corporate and public sector spend in the UK goes to ethnic minority businesses.
We wanted to be a part of something that helps change this situation. MSDUK offers a real opportunity for organisations to accelerate their supplier diversity programmes. As more and more shareholder, investor and customer voices demand greater DEI, every aspect of an organisation’s operations is coming under greater scrutiny. And supply chain diversity is now integral to a company’s approach to procurement.
How can you benefit?
DEI unquestionably benefits your business, with organisations practicing diversity, equity, and inclusion outperforming businesses that don’t. Such benefits include:
- Companies with more diverse teams and supply partners address challenges from different perspectives. Alternative & fresh ideas are generated and implemented, which regularly leads to new activities or products that deliver greater innovation.
New market opportunities
- Working with a more diverse supply chain brings far greater global market awareness. Individuals from different nationalities, ethnicities and communities possess insight and different perspectives that less diverse businesses wouldn’t be exposed to. New market opportunities are identified or even created because these diverse partners build products and services for the demographic they represent. And a wider demographic equals wider opportunity.
Boost employee engagement and retention
- Diverse and inclusive workplace environments experience higher levels of engaged workers. When workers feel included and valued, absenteeism decreases, as does the number of people who leave their place of work. Furthermore, engaged workers perform better, leading to increased productivity which in turn delivers improved profits.
- Research by McKinsey shows that companies actively promoting DEI strategies are 35% more likely to achieve above-average returns – with business performance increased by 31%. In addition, a Deloitte study found that businesses with an inclusive culture were twice as likely to meet or exceed their financial targets.
Improved and widened target audience
- Today’s society and today’s consumers are far more alert to businesses that adopt DEI. The result of greater organisational diversity on society is that it increases the potential for people who previously felt as though a business didn’t cater for them, to now become customers. Greater diversity and inclusivity makes a company more appealing to a much broader demographic.
Enhances brand recognition
- Inclusiveness is a major priority for Gen Z. And as their purchasing power continues to grow and influence today’s market, they’re demanding that their own diversity is reflected in products, services, and marketing. This is especially evident on social media where they not only celebrate brands that make diversity a priority, but criticize those that don’t. Diversity has undeniably become an important aspect of a brand.
Attracting top talent
- Top talent no longer just look at compensation and perks. Diversity is now a factor when considering where to work. To underrepresented groups, a diverse workforce is hugely important. Nearly one third of employees and job seekers (32%) would not apply for a job at a company that lacks diversity.
Working with APLBC
The argument for why starting or accelerating your diversity and inclusivity programme now will help your business is loud and compelling.
But if you’re unsure as to how you take the first steps, or the next steps, speak with us.
As an MSDUK certified Ethnic Minority Owned Business we have the differing insight and perspectives an EMB possesses that can benefit your organisation. By offering the best accommodation solutions with over 136 hotel and aparthotel partners across 21 countries, we’ll work with you to understand your organisational structure, the demands and requirements of your current travellers, and advise you on how you can meet those needs. Whilst also giving you the right solutions that will open up new market opportunities to widen your audience and enhance your brand.
By identifying the best actions to take, processes to implement, and the ways in which you can improve your Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, we’ll help you achieve your supplier goals.