Making Corporate Responsibility a Top Priority with Margaret Egan of Hyatt Hotels

March 26, 2024

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Margaret Egan was selected as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Hyatt Hotels in January 2018. In this role, she is responsible for Hyatt’s global legal and corporate services. Margaret served as interim General Counsel and Secretary of the Company from October 2017 to January 2018, and previously served as Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Hyatt from March 2013 to January 2018 overseeing the Company’s legal global transactions teams. Presently, Margaret serves as the Executive Sponsor of World of Care. World of Care brings Hyatt’s purpose of care to life through Hyatt’s actions in advancing care for the planet, people and responsible business.

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John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast. I’m John Shigeru and I’m so honored to have you with us today, Margaret Egan. She’s the executive vice president, general counsel, secretary, and world of care executive sponsor at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Welcome Margaret to the Impact podcast.

Margaret Egan: Hey, John’s great to be here. Thank you so much for having me.

John: Well, before we get talking about all the great and important work that you and your colleagues are doing at Hyatt Hotels. I’d love you first to share a little bit about the Margaret Egan story. Where’d you grow up and how’d you get on this journey, Margaret?

Margaret: All right. Well, let me again say thank you for being here because this is fun. This is fun to have an opportunity to talk about things that we both are really passionate about. And I love the chance to speak for my colleagues. There are 200,000 people around the world doing great work for Hyatt and supporting World of Care. For me, I’m just the spokesperson, but I’m super happy to be here doing it. So thank you. My background, I live in Chicago. That’s where Hyatt’s corporate headquarters are, have been since its inception. And I live with my family. Including two children, one who’s in college, and one who’s in high school. Times are interesting and challenging and actually super exciting right now with them. Lived in Chicago for most of my professional life. I grew up in New York though I think not far from you. I grew up on Long Island. You’re from Queens, right?

John: Yeah.

Margaret: Yeah. I think I remember hearing that. I grew up the youngest of 10 children on Long Island. Right. They don’t make families that size anymore.

John: And what town did you grow up in over there? What town?

Margaret: Amityville.

John: Okay. Great. Love it.

Margaret: Yeah. On the southern coast of Long Island. Grew up big family. In a big family, you learn pretty fast that the story is really not about you. You’re part of a larger narrative. But really wonderful background for me. Went to school in the Midwest and ended up in Chicago. And then eventually found my way to law school and I had always known I wanted to be a lawyer. I guess I was one of those sort of nerdy kids who just knew that that’s what I wanted to do. But in my mind, that meant I was going to be a trial lawyer in court all the time and very glamorous. And so that’s what I did. I went to law school and I worked in private practice at a firm that I really enjoyed here in Chicago.

And I was a commercial litigator. And did that for some time, and then my husband and I moved to the UK. So I had a chance to work in London and been a couple… not quite. No, about a year and a half at the American embassy. With the Department of Justice, they have a small office, or at least did then at the American embassy. It was great. I do love travel. Living in London as a launching point for travel for a couple of years was an amazing opportunity. And then we came back to Chicago and I just lucked out. There was a position open at Hyatt and I was thinking about changing careers, a different path anyway, still law, but a different path. And so I joined Hyatt and that was 20 years ago.

I came in from my background of litigation to support litigation and operations, and then things change opportunities pop up. And over time I moved from litigation to having absolutely nothing to do with litigation, which was a surprise, and then moving into transactional work. I oversaw our transactional team at Hyatt for a number of years. And then finally had an opportunity for the general council position, which I’ve been in for six years. Best job ever. I love it. Love it. Love it. It’s every day, even the hard days are good days is the way I put it. It’s great work. And the last piece is being a part of the world of care, being the executive sponsor for that really is the added element to the work that I do that just brings me so much joy and, and pride. Again in the work that our colleagues are doing. So that’s the long answer to your question or the short one, but that’s the Margaret Egan story.

John: Out of the 10, were you the youngest, oldest, or in between?

Margaret: I was the youngest, which I think is, you could go on about whether that’s good or bad, but I was loosely supervised. Let’s put it that way.

John: Let’s just say your parents were a little tired after nine. You have to give them a little break.

Margaret: That’s right. I knew the rules and how to manage them and that was that, but five girls and five boys, a really wonderful way to grow up.

John: That’s wonderful. Were there already any lawyers in your family that inspired you to become a lawyer?

Margaret: No.

John: So you were the first?

Margaret: No, actually, one of my grandparents was, but he had passed away many, many years before. So I never met him. But no, in my immediate family, it’s just me. I know that maybe I’m the idiot, right? Everybody else is doing other stuff. But again, I love what I do. I do.

John: That’s so wonderful to love what you do is such an underrated blessing to have that in your life to love what you do. And it’s great that you do. And it’s great that you do what you’re doing. Your title is fascinating. I have to interview so many cool and wonderful people like you over the last 17 years in this spot on this podcast and the titles have shifted around when it comes to sustainability and ESG and impact. Executive vice president, general counsel. We sort of know what that means in terms of the law and everything. And secretary and world of care executive sponsor. So in that title, talk a little bit about your day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month duties and how your days look and how your months look for our listeners. So they get a little feel of how you go about your career.

Margaret: Absolutely. I mentioned before we have 200,000 colleagues around the world. Our legal team is working in about a dozen offices around the world, supporting transactions, operations, and just everything that Hyatt does. And so my main role is as the head of the department, that the chief legal officer, and that involves compliance. Our team oversees our compliance programs. But we have a team, our legal department within Hyatt that really to me is sort of a boutique law firm. We have these areas of expertise, incredibly talented people who have come to Hyatt, and stayed at Hyatt for what Hyatt is, which is a purpose-driven organization.

And that’s a really important piece of all of this of what we do and why I’m I’m still here after 20 years and why we have such great retention in our department. That also captures what we say secretary is a corporate secretary and that’s the governance piece because Hyatt is a public company. That picks up that and then there’s a world of care. And when we were looking at our… when we think about ESG some years ago, Hyatt has been in operation for almost seven decades and we now operate in, I think the current count is 76 countries around the world per our last queue.

John: Wow.

Margaret: And so we’ve been having an impact in communities for a very long time and hotels are their own sort of mini city sometimes within a city, they have a real presence, a huge colleague employee base. We’ve had fantastic corporate social responsibility programs for a very long time, really focusing on thriving destinations. That’s what this is all about. We’re a travel company. We’re supporting travel and we want to do it in a way that’s sustainable for people and in the destinations in which our hotels operate. And so we’ve been leaning into that for a really long time. When we thought about ESG, we took a look at, well, who are we? What’s our culture? What’s our purpose?

Where do we make a difference? And so that’s when I had an opportunity to step in as an executive sponsor for World of Care. It was unexpected at the time, but when you think about what a lot of department companies are doing, ESG sometimes does sit under the chief legal officer. Sometimes it sits in other areas of the company. I think for us, it was really just it made sense at the time. I have a long background overseeing people in international offices. I’m all in on purpose. It’s people who joke with the phrase, drink the Kool-Aid. I drink the Kool-Aid. I mix the Kool-Aid. I’ll pour you the Kool-Aid. I believe it. That’s why I’m here. It was a golden opportunity for me to expand into really different kinds of work and there’s a lot to learn in the space we’ll talk about I’m sure, but it’s daunting. The challenges are daunting. The amount of work we do is daunting, but the payoff is priceless.

John: Let’s talk a little bit about that. The world of care platform. When I did some reading material before we had this wonderful interview, the World of Care platform, caring for the planet, caring for the people, and caring for responsible business. Now, that’s those are three wonderful pillars. Break them down a little bit now under each of them and explain what they mean to Hyatt each pillar and why they’re all important.

Margaret: Yeah. Well, it starts again with our purpose and our purpose to care for people so they can be their best. Care is at the core of how we think about really all of the work that we do, how we reach out to guests and customers, and how we engage within our communities. And it is the DNA that’s at the heart of World of Care. We happen to have more of a commercial-based loyalty program called World of Hyatt. We thought about our purpose of care which is a culture that Hyatt has lived for decades.

And we thought about World of Hyatt as our passionate loyalty program. And that’s where the language around World of Care came from. That really, when we landed on that I was like, that’s it. That’s perfect. That’s who we are. The three pillars, caring for people, caring for responsible business, and caring for the planet. If you follow ESG, it’s a similar framework to ESG, but we were pretty deliberate about not wanting to get hung up on, is it ESG? Is ESG good? Is ESG bad? You do this. In the conversations you have with people on any given day, it feels like you can get some really strong opinions one way or the other about the good, bad, or ugly of ESG, right?

John: No need to get caught up in the politics or the polarization of terminology when we’re looking for the same impacts.

Margaret: That’s exactly right. And so for us, World of Care is, it’s just who we are. It’s the work that we do every day. It’s the hearts and minds of our colleagues that deliver purpose. And at the heart of that is empathy. You can’t really deliver care if you don’t understand people. There’s a very big difference in hospitality between service and care. Getting good service is one thing, but getting in and being cared for feels a lot different. And that’s what has people coming back to our hotels, by the way. We use empathy.

Empathy it’s kind of how we problem-solve as well. We went out and we went to our stakeholders and we asked a lot of questions about well, are we working in the right places today? Is there anything where is there a place for some aspect of our work that should be different? Or we’re not showing up strongly enough. And what came back to us is we’re the work that is done by all these colleagues around the world in so many aspects of World of Care, it resonated well for us that they would fall into those three pillars. And so caring for the planet, we have science-based targets. We have 2030 goals. We had 2020 goals, which when we met them and moved on to the next step.

We are thinking broad-based about what those goals are and we’re public about them. And then we have operating regions within the company. Again, it’s a large geographic footprint and each operating region has the responsibility to action our goals. It’s my job to try to help them, bring it all together, so you can report up at a global level, but we look at that in a multifaceted way when I think about caring for people. Inclusion is the heart of hospitality that people feel welcome when they come into one of our properties that our colleagues feel like they belong there. That is really important to us. It’s also kind of 2nd nature to us. It’s not all that hard for us to figure that out.

But we think about it in terms of well-being, inclusion, DENI, our benefits programs, things that are uniquely important to hospitality, like human trafficking and human rights, and so we’ve spent a lot of time on all of those topics. That kind of falls within, that’s an example of what’s under caring for people and then caring for responsible business. I joined Hyatt 20 years ago because it had a reputation in the Chicago business community. It’s having a great… A business that runs on integrity, first of all. A lawyer, especially.

You’re not going anywhere shady. You want to work for someone, like a company that really holds itself accountable and does business in a certain way that really resonated with me and with great, like you said, an iconic brand and innovative product, innovative hotels, and hotel design. And it kind of should go without saying that responsible business is the core of everything that we do, but we want to be explicit about it. So that’s caring for the responsible business pieces and how we partner with others around that. And the governance we have around all of this. That’s the high level, although I’m happy to dive into any little piece of it.

John: No, let’s talk a little bit. I’m fascinated because what I’ve seen of most recent times, you have already very important titles that as standalone titles, you could have had an amazing career at Hyatt, just being the general counsel of a 200,000-person company.

Margaret: It’s a great job, right?

John: [inaudible] But then you go on the secretary and for a little extra for a cherry on top rules of care executive sponsor, talk a little bit about the greatness of cross-pollination and cross in for it. I assume, but I don’t want to assume anything. How does being general counsel better inform you to be a better executive sponsor of World of Care and vice versa? How does your world of care executive sponsor work make you a better general counsel of Hyatt?

Margaret: Oh, that’s such a good question. There is a compliance element to the reporting side in stability, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability. There’s a natural fit there in terms of how are we going to report out on what we’re doing, doing it with integrity and so forth, and transparency and accuracy of data. That’s kind of an easy fit, maybe for someone with a legal background. It’s getting hard to keep up, actually, with the number of local regulations across the U.S., and across the globe.

John: That’s what I was going to ask you. How hard is that? 76 countries and all the… let’s just call it a patchwork quilt of regulations now that are governing all these very, very newish types of newish laws, newish regulations, and they’re all over the place when it comes to the EU versus the US and [inaudible] what is doing at the SCC and then what’s going to happen in Asia? What do you foresee? Right now, how difficult is it? And do you foresee a more harmonized future when it comes to these regulations?

Margaret: It’s difficult. Yes. How difficult is it? It’s difficult. It’s hard. It is hard and you have to figure out, okay, well, there are all these different regulations, which of them apply to your business, depending on your footprint, your revenue, where you have operations, and so forth. There’s all of that analysis. And then there isn’t a real consistency across geographies. There isn’t even real consistency across the states in the United States. And that’s one country. We’re waiting on the SCC and we’ll see what comes from that.

In the EU, CSRD, there are reporting obligations around that related to that. That is more comprehensive than across the span of ESG. And in other countries, there’s more… the expectations are growing. For us, there are some pull-throughs in terms of the data across jurisdictions. And I think if we are clear in our strategy about what our goals are and how we’re going to report against them, that’s the starting point. That’s what we did with World of Care.

John: Got it.

Margaret: We said, okay, we’ve got 2030 goals and we have goals with respect to DENI that were really important to us, especially in the last few years. We’re public about them and we’re public about our progress against those goals. We’re already down the pathway of ensuring that we have good data in order to make all of that information public. We want to be careful about that.

John: why?

Margaret: Any company should public company, especially, and we don’t want to mislead people. We want people to really understand the work that we’re doing, but getting our arms around the changing regulations, there are a lot more lawyers doing ESG for a reason and that’s part [inaudible]

John: Right.

Margaret: Because we’re trying to understand the implications of all the laws. Will there be a like one? No, I don’t think it’s going to happen.

John: Right.

Margaret: But I’m hoping even in just in the United States, we land on whatever it’s going to look like. Maybe driven by the SCC and then another the EU will have its own and certain regions will have their own. There are enough consistencies across them, though, that guide us and how we think about what we’re going to be planning for in the coming 2, 3, 4 years, and when it comes to reporting. It’s not really much of an answer because it’s kind of a mess there. [inaudible]

John: No, it is an answer because like you just said. There’s a lot of wisdom from the C suite for making you the general counsel, then also World of Care executive sponsor, given like you said, Patrick quilt of all the regulations across the planet is who’s going to manage.

Margaret: Yeah.

John: That would be very hard for a person who is a “layman”, maybe an environmental scientist, but a legal layman to a lay person to navigate all that just sounds like it would be beyond daunting.

Margaret: Yeah, it’s hard work. I will say though, again, it’s joyful work, but the legal team and me and my role, we see a lot across the company.

John: Right.

Margaret: I think that helps in terms of how we think about the story… helping our team [inaudible] We have a wonderful communications team that we work with on World of Care reporting. We have an incredible head of sustainability. We have a credible head of CSR. I’m in on a steer co with our CFO and our CHRO and we collectively lean into how we bring World of Care to life and provide… setting the strategy for how we’re talking about it and what we’re focusing on. It’s certainly not me alone by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have visibility across the organization that gives me an opportunity to pull the threads together if you will.

John: For our listeners and viewers, who’ve just joined us, we’ve got Margaret Egan with us today. She’s the executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, and World of Care executive sponsor at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. To find Margaret and her colleagues and all the important work they’re doing in sustainability and at World of Care. Please go to Margaret, talk a little bit about, as a whole, the macro hospitality industry. If you were to say, what are the top two or three common challenges that the hospitality industry has when it comes to sustainability? And how is Hyatt going about facing those top two or three challenges?

Margaret: Well, it’s a great question. I think the first thing is the buildings, many hotel owners are building new hotels all the time and more and more with sustainability in mind. But there are hundreds of thousands of hotels around the world that are long-standing buildings and so like any homeowner, you know how to manage the energy consumption in your house and so forth. But these are businesses living in buildings. The nature of our work is to serve big groups and have people come in and out all the time. And so we have this industry that provides single-use plastics, for instance, and people love them. They take them home. You love the shampoo.

Oh, I love going to this particular brand because the shampoo smells really good. I take it home. And so we’ve had to move away from things like that to multiple-use toiletries, you can’t take them home anymore. It seems a silly thing, but sometimes you go to hotels seeking luxury, or you want to get that little toiletry and take it or the pen or the pencil or the notepad or something. And we were removing all of those things because they’re not sustainable. And we don’t want to be contributing to a landfill filled with little plastic shampoos and so that’s an operational issue [inaudible] things.

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John: Sure.

Margaret: The buildings have been in existence for decades and you can’t retrofit them. Now, I would say our hotel teams are unbelievably creative in terms of figuring out how to reduce energy usage or invest in renewable energy or other… We have hotels with solar panels on and we have hotels with their own water filtration plans to help manage water. We have hotels that focus… all of them, try to focus on food waste. Some have really innovative ways of doing that.

There’s a ton of passion at the hotel level and there’s a challenge in bringing it all together into a framework that also achieves our corporate goals, like driving in a larger way on our science-based targets and our reduction of waste and our reduction of energy usage and so forth. But I would say it’s the buildings and it’s the experience that guests expect to have in the buildings. That luxury, not all of them are luxury. I know that, and you have cleaning and the cleaning happens every day and they’re using cleaning products.

It’s a business model that requires turnover. That’s the point of it. You come for a night and you leave and there’s work in order to support that, that is challenging to think differently about when you’re considering sustainability, but it’s one that’s very much on our minds. And I know other hotel companies as well. We have an industry association, America’s Hotel Lodging Association, and they’re really taking some leadership around sustainability and bringing the hotel companies together to support broader actions and we’re part of that. We’re a founding member of that. We want to stay close to the solution, even while we know it’s daunting in the meantime.

John: Margaret, I’m a big fan of your hotels. I’ve stayed at them across the whole planet.

Margaret: What’s your favorite one?

John: Probably which is the one I’m about to bring up. In 1993, I started going to Hong Kong, and I know you have a Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, which I’ve stayed at in the last… in recent years. And when I was reading up before our interview today, talk a little bit about the fascinating when you got there with regards to the room keys.

Margaret: Yeah, so Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, which is a beautiful hotel, which is a really gorgeous hotel.

John: Luxury.

Margaret: And wonderful, warm people who work there, really caring for you when you’re there.

John: Got it.

Margaret: Yeah, they replaced the plastic room keys, which sometimes you get a room key and maybe you remember to bring it back to the front desk, but maybe you don’t and you find it in your luggage the next week and they cycle through. They replace them with sustainable materials so they’re no longer plastic room keys. We have apps and so forth that people can use to come in and out of their rooms as well, and that doesn’t work for everybody, but at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, yeah, they came up with a way to replace the room key with a sustainable product that is terrific. That’s kind of interesting because a room key is an embedded sort of digital tool, if you will, right? And so they figured that out. It was really cool.

John: Do you think that’s going to become more of a bigger trend in the hospitality industry as a whole?

Margaret: I do think so. Yes, I think we’re all looking for ways to make inroads and that’s anything you kind of focus on the things that cycle through more quickly than others. Room keys are one of them. Toiletries. I mentioned before things like that. No, I think that you’ll see more and more of that over time and therefore they’ll the products will become less expensive over time as well. I think.

John: You were talking about the importance of Hyatt in DEI.

Margaret; Yeah.

John: And you have Hyatt joined the Tent Partnership for Refugees program.

Can you share a little bit about what that is?

Margaret: Yeah, we’re one of about 250 companies that joined this program to support refugees. And I think since we’ve joined, we’ve hired 500 of them because we really focus our sort of CSR philanthropy on education in job training for opportunity individuals. And so the tent partnership is an example of that. We also have a Rise High, which is a signature program that supports again, training opportunities for people in search circumstances where they don’t otherwise have good job training. We’re committed to also hiring a certain number out of the Rise High program. We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary of Rise High.

I think we have hired… Sorry, 5 year anniversary. I get my numbers, right? And we’ve hired 5300 people out of that program. We just love that. And that’s all over the world, because that really, you could see how that could make a difference in communities around the world. We know that you can have an amazing career starting in hospitality. We have leaders all over the organization who started as front …or first-time entry-level positions at hotels that were able to move up. That’s what we’re all about.

John: I’m going to make the argument, Margaret, that I think hospitality as a career and as a transferable skill is one of the greatest skills anyone can have, no matter what they end up evolving into or whatever career path their career takes them on, but learning upfront in terms of the hospitality industry, I think it’s one of the most, if not the most transferable skill because it’s at the end of the day, like you said, it’s about empathy and it’s about passion and it’s about people.

Margaret: That’s that’s exactly right. And if you’re really good at it, you exercise empathy well, you learn that skill. That’s a muscle that you have, that you take that anywhere.

John: Anywhere.

Margaret: Anywhere. My boss always says he has two ears and one mouth, use them in proportion. So listen try as much twice as much as you talk, but that’s a sort of joke around empathy, but it’s true.

John: Sure.

Margaret: It’s really true. Listening.

John: And I really think nowadays with what technology has done to us and made us more isolated somewhat and made us more separate, even though we’re connecting over technology today. In many ways, technology has isolated us more and sort of personalized our personalized skills, which are so important in hospitality, nothing beats having great empathy skills and great hospitality skills, nothing.

Margaret: You’re 100% correct. And thinking about the technology side of it, when the pandemic hit and the hospitality was hit, it was very different times in early 2020. We came to understand very early on that people still wanted to travel and experience. They want what they want to get out there. They want to see the world. They want to be with people. They want to experience things. And so there’s a resilience to the industry as well and there’s a resilience to the people who are in the industry that I think is really inspiring.

John: Back to DEI and the importance of DEI. InSpirit Mentoring. You’re a woman who’s in a very powerful and big-time leadership position at Hyatt.

Talk a little bit about your InSpirit Mentoring program at Hyatt.

Margaret: Yeah, it’s a program based out of our team. That’s your Africa, Middle East team. And they have about 170 mentor mentees in this program in over 18 countries in Europe. And it’s really around providing the mentorship career mentorship for people and sometimes you’ll have folks who have so much talent and so much opportunity, right? So much in front of them, but they need a little bit more. They need a little bit more support and mentorship guidance that they might not have somewhere else in their life. And it’s been a fabulous program actually that our team launched. It’s really worked out well.

John: One thing I want to bring up is something an issue. I’m 61 years old, and an issue that I really wasn’t familiar with at all until this summer when a movie came out, a movie called Sound of Freedom, and it was about human trafficking. A very, very fascinating and important movie, that made a big impact on my life and my family’s life. Talk a little bit about Hyatt’s approach, the zero tolerance approach to human trafficking as a reflection of their commitment to human rights.

Margaret: Yeah, it’s zero tolerance. Every single employee at Hyatt takes human trafficking training to be on the lookout for the signs of human trafficking. I take it. Everyone on my team takes it because I don’t work in a hotel, but I go to hotels. And so the idea is that if you see something amiss, act on it and it’s a real thing out in the world, human trafficking. We decided that we, and I will say the other hotel companies have followed suit over the years, and we’re all similarly aligned around doing everything we can to educate our colleagues on this and stop it wherever we can.

So our CFO Joan Bottarini is co-chair of the No Room for Trafficking Advisory Council with HLA, the organization I mentioned before. We have this training program that we’ve developed in partnership with advisory groups to ensure that we’re really educating. It’s great training and it’s made a difference. We have stories that are oh, God, they’re so heart-wrenching. But an amazing from the hotel team said, because I took the training, I saw something that I wasn’t sure about and it did something about it. Thankfully in our hotels, it’s not a super common occurrence, but it’s a thing that’s out there. And we just really, again, no tolerance, zero tolerance.

John: We have to take the world as it is and not as we want it to be. And therefore we’ve got to deal with the issues as they come across and make sense, but that’s a real win when your employees are able to observe and recognize what’s going on because of your training and then take action.

Those are lives that are saved.

Margaret: Absolutely. That’s exactly it. That’s it.

John: Those are lives that are safe. Margaret, I’ve got to ask you, you sit in a fascinating position, not only visibility at Hyatt in 76 countries with such a diverse workforce across so many different regions and geographies. Talk a little bit about the challenge of going to bed at night and waking up in the morning and understanding and are we doing enough? How do you benchmark Hyatt both internally and externally against your competitors and even against other great, iconic brands that are similarly situated in terms of geography and in terms of size?

Margaret: Yeah.

John: What do you use as benchmarks to understand, are you doing enough on this journey? Can you do more? How does that work? We all know that in sustainability, there’s no finish line and that the journey is ongoing always, but how do you balance the… and celebrate the wins, but try to figure out who’s doing other things better that you could aspire to?

Margaret: Well, inspiration is important and aspirations are important.

John: Sure.

Margaret: We do look around to see what possibilities are out there. What kind of creative solutions are out there?

John: Sure.

Margaret: I don’t necessarily spend a lot of time thinking about how our work stacks up against our competition. The competition is out there, but World of Care designed empathy first by thinking about what our stakeholders want, what our colleagues are looking for, what our investors are looking for, the owners of our hotels who are incredible partners with us, and all of this work. What should we be doing?

John: True.

Margaret: And does what we do comport with our purpose of care. And that’s the North Star. We say that all the time here. That’s the North Star that guides the strategy in World of Care and the outside World of Care in our business strategy, and how we reach our guests and customers and so forth. If we’re operating in a manner, consistent with our purpose. Our colleagues and we ask for feedback, we want feedback from our colleagues.

If they’re giving us the feedback that we’re on the right path and they support it, then I feel good about that. Then I don’t wake up in the middle of the night worried about what a certain other company may be doing here, there are anywhere. That’s one of the most exciting things about World of Care for me is the passion that we’ve seen come through our colleagues. They latched onto World of Care as they got it, Hey, this is our language. This is who we are. This is our culture and history. And so they are all about it.

I get notes all the time from somebody who is working on something, whether it’s sustainability or something else within the world of care kind of Framework and they come back and it’s made their lives different. They feel good about what they’re doing. I want everyone who works here to love where they work as much as I love where I work. And that’s what I’m about. So yes, benchmarking matters. All stakeholders have different opinions, investor groups have different opinions, and owner hotel owners have different opinions, but we’re about listening and figuring out, getting that right spot for us, that’s change starts here, which is a signature DEI platform, which we didn’t talk about yet.

We set that up in 2020 when we thought about the murder of George Floyd. We thought about all these things that were happening and we said, we’ve got great DEI policies and we have great training and we’re good people. Why are we not making enough of a difference here? We need to do things a little bit differently. We challenge ourselves from time to time and say, our hearts are in the right place. Our heads are in the right place. And yet, we’re not making meaningful enough steps toward where we want to be. That’s when we say, okay, stake in the ground, let’s think about this a little bit differently, get our colleague’s feedback and listen and apply those learnings and go forward.

John: Margaret, you’ve had 20 years at Hyatt, and you’re still very relatively young.

Margaret; Thank you. You’re my favorite person today.

John: It’s true. So what gets you excited about the future that you’re allowed to talk about? What’s exciting about the upcoming year ahead? What are your initiatives and Hyatt’s initiatives that really get you really pumped up?

Margaret: Well, we learned a lot of things about how we work during the pandemic, right? When there’s a true emergency on you all the time, every minute, existential levels of emergency, you work differently. We collaborate differently and so forth. And so we came to realize that we had the opportunity to expand that experience in agile ways of working to work differently, to understand the mindsets that we’re bringing to the work every day and how we could think differently, work differently, lead differently.

And so I am incredibly excited, like, super jazzed about this next phase of Hyatt’s history because of evolution, I should say, because I think we’re challenging ourselves to blow up the old ways of working and just come at things differently. As somebody said to me the other day, the old adage of, it’s not always the work that you do is how you do it. And that’s what we’re talking about right now. And for us, it’s all in the service of others. It’s all about advancing care. The way we work is intended to advance care. To you if you’re staying at the current Hyatt in Hong Kong or somebody else to our colleagues and so forth. I think I’m excited about the work. We all are. We’re talking a lot about it here at Hyatt. We think it’s an amazing unlock for us. And there’s just a great opportunity to head around it. I won’t get into all the details, but it’s fun. It’s fun, invigorating work.

John: Well, the fun thing for me is that sustainability has no finish line.

Margaret: Yes.

John: It’s going to be a continued journey that you’re on at Hyatt. And I ask you, and you’re welcome to always come back on the Impact Podcast and share the continued successes that you have and the journey that you’re on with your colleagues at Hyatt. And Margaret, I just want to thank you for your time today. And just wish you continued success. For anyone who wants to find Margaret Egan and her colleagues at Hyatt Hotels and all the impactful and important work that they’re doing, please go to of care. Margaret Egan, thank you for being on the Impact podcast today. And more importantly, thank you and your colleagues at Hyatt for making the world a better place.

Margaret: Thank you so much. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me. I love the conversation.

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