As a host, you have the unique opportunity to make people from around the world feel welcome. Creating that sense of belonging is what makes the Airbnb community so special, but discrimination can happen even among thoughtful hosts. We’ve heard reports about discrimination and bias in the Airbnb community. Like you, we take this very seriously, and we’re working hard to address it.
We recently welcomed David King III as our Director of Diversity and Belonging. David has served in top leadership positions focused on diversity for the US Department of State and the Peace Corps. David is working closely with teams from across Airbnb to help fight discrimination and bias. And we’re excited to see how his proven leadership in civil rights, diversity, and inclusion help make the Airbnb community a global model for inclusive hospitality.
We asked David what makes people hesitate to take action against discrimination. “Most people believe that diversity and belonging is important, but few know how to enter the conversation and affect change.” We’re inspired by hosts around the world who are taking steps to preclude discrimination and help every traveler feel welcome. Here are some suggestions to do just that:
- Emphasize that all travelers will be welcome: You can update your listing description to let travelers know they’ll belong in your space. One host writes on her listing page: “Everyone is welcome. LGBTQ and straight friendly.”
- Expand your hosting skills: You can attend a “Cross-Cultural Hosting” webcast with David King on Wed, December 14, 2016 at 10am PT.
- Learn about biases: Explore what Harvard professor Dr. Robert Livingston has to say about unconscious bias and discrimination in this brand new host toolkit.
- Identify with travelers: Great hosting takes empathy—anticipating your guests’ needs by identifying with their experiences. You can boost your empathy by experiencing places or activities that are unfamiliar, or better yet, where you’re in the minority.
- Share your feedback: Tell us where you see room for improvement on or off the platform by emailing email@example.com.
- Understand Airbnb’s standards for inclusion: Read our anti-discrimination policy.
- If you witness discrimination, report it: You can click on the flag icon on profiles, listings, or messages to report discrimination.
- Turn on Instant Book: Many travelers who use Instant Book appreciate being able to book a listing without encountering potential discrimination. And with the ease and control Instant Book offers you, it’s a win win.
We know one company alone can’t end discrimination, but we’re committed to doing all we can to fight it. As David says “If we can help mitigate bias on the platform, we can truly create a global space where intercultural communication and belonging are the norm. Individual hosts can be the driving force for this change.”
Thank you for making a difference by hosting—the world is a better place because you do.