DiversityInc Names Starwood Hotels & Resorts One of The Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Starwood Hotels Garners Prestigious Ranking for the 6th YearAnnual Study Considered a Corporate Benchmark for Best Practices

White Plains, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announces it has been ranked No. 39 on The 2009 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity® list. This marks the 6th year Starwood is featured on the respected list, and the company was chosen because of its dedication to creating an environment of inclusion and diversity for its customers and more than 145,000 associates worldwide. A total of 401 companies, up 14 percent from last year, vied for the honor this year, which underscores the increasing emphasis on diversity management among progressive companies. Starwood was also ranked No. 8 on The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities and No. 3 on The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Executive Women lists.

"Hiring and retaining diverse talent, contracting with diverse suppliers, and marketing our brands to all potential customers simply just makes sound business sense," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. "Starwood's diversity and inclusion efforts are fundamental components to our company's ability to outperform the competition, increase shareholder value, and show the organization's commitment to the economic growth of all the communities in which we operate regardless of the current economic climate. Starwood making the 2009 Top 50 Companies for Diversity List serves as a mile marker that we are headed in the right direction along our journey."

"Competitive companies such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide have switched from trying to move the status quo to establishing a new one," said Luke Visconti, CEO of DiversityInc. "Smart companies see increasing diversity efforts in an economic downturn as a way of beating less-adept competition that will pull back."

Among its recent successes, Starwood has increased the number and dollar amount of scholarships offered to minority college students. The company has also ramped up its involvement in key organizations supporting students interested in hospitality at the high-school level. Starwood continues to grow its Supplier Diversity program and has made significant increases in the total dollars spent with minority owned businesses.

Starwood values the diversity of people, ideas and cultures. Keeping in line with that statement, the company aims to create an environment of inclusion for associates, guests and suppliers where their talents and experiences are valued and leveraged to provide high standards of performance.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 940 properties in more than 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien® and the recently announced AloftSM and ElementSM Hotels. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts.

Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

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