Forbes first-ever ranking of America’s best employers for women includes two Native-owned enterprises — both leaders in Indian gaming in the U.S.
The Chickasaw Nation Department of Commerce and Hard Rock International ranked No. 152 and No. 177, respectively, and seventh and eighth within the Travel & Leisure sector.
Forbes and Statista, a market research company, surveyed 40,000 employees of companies with more than 1,000 workers to compile the 2018 list of the 300 Best Employers for Women in America. Of those surveyed, 25,000 women were included. All the surveys were anonymous and analyzed by Forbes and Statista based on a combination of criteria to rank the leading employers of women in America.
Among the 11 organizations on the Forbes list in the Travel & Leisure category, both the Chickasaw Nation and Hard Rock International ranked ahead of several major corporations, including Expedia Group (No.186), MGM Resorts (No. 199) and Intercontinental Hotels Group (No. 284).
A leader in tourism in Oklahoma and across Indian Country, the Chickasaw Nation collaborates with more than 100 businesses, attractions and organizations to draw travelers to the diverse destinations located along the I-35 super corridor dubbed “Adventure Road.” Among the popular Chickasaw-owned attractions is an historic hotel that has welcomed guests like John Wayne and Roy Rogers. The Artesian Hotel originally opened its doors in 1906, shuttered due to a 1962 fire, and was resurrected in 2013. Other well-known gaming establishments drive the Chickasaw Nation’s economic activity, such as as Remington Park in Oklahoma City, Riverwind Casino in Norman, and WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville.
Meanwhile, Hard Rock International, now in 74 countries, has a long history of embracing diversity and empowering people. “All of us at Hard Rock are honored to be named by Forbes as one of 2018’s Best Employers for Women,” said David Carroll, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Hard Rock International. “We are working hard to increase management opportunities for women through mentorship and training programs. While this ranking reflects our recent success, we consider it a starting point and we intend to build on it.”
With its clan-based, matrilineal culture, the Seminole Tribe of Florida emphasizes the importance of increasing opportunities for women in the workplace. Seminole Gaming’s popular “Women of Seminole Gaming” mentorship program is being expanded to include executives from Hard Rock International, which shares the company’s South Florida headquarters offices with senior-level managers from Seminole Gaming.
During the past two years, the Women of Seminole Gaming mentorship program has helped to boost the percentage of women vice presidents from 20 to 27 percent of the total, while the percentage of women working at the director level has grown from 28 to 32 percent.