It was apropos for Fortune 100 executive Tony Gladney to be one of the esteemed speakers at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The missions of the Black Enterprise WPS and Gladney intersect at the point where they are creating mechanisms and pathways that amplify the number of Black executives in the upper echelons of corporate America and MGM, respectively.
Gladney is the vice president of diversity at MGM Resorts International, which owns a plethora of behemoth hotels and casinos on the famous Las Vegas Strip as well as around the country and throughout the world.
Urban sophisticates who frequent Vegas are blissfully oblivious that there are influential Black executives behind the scenes at MGM because vacationers are busied with gambling, imbibing adult beverages, lounging by the pools and other pursuits. Families of color often don’t take into account that the things they see and enjoy these days are impacted by the things they don’t see, including Black executives, particularly at MGM.
Gladney is not only working to increase diversity at MGM, but also hiring qualified contractors and sub-contractors who have helped to sculpt the beautiful Vegas skyline for vacationers to drink in as they land at Harry Reid International Airport.
“My responsibility is to run the day-to-day diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for our company, [and] from an internal perspective, [the] employee programs with our training and development department,” Gladney told rolling out. “We’re making sure there are development programs and mentoring programs internally to develop diverse talent to be responsible for and lead our external diversity efforts with African Americans, LatinX, Asian Pacific, Native Americans, LGBTQ, veterans and persons with disabilities [on the] local, regional and national perspectives.”
The award-winning Gladney has two decades of experience in the gaming industry supporting programs related to diversity and community affairs.
Gladney began his career as part of the MGM Resorts team, joining the company in 1993 as manager of community affairs development at MGM Grand Las Vegas. In 2001, Gladney became MGM Grand’s vice president of corporate diversity and quickly ascended to vice president of national diversity relations for the newly formed MGM Mirage. Gladney’s career portfolio has been adorned with numerous awards for his stewardship of diversity and inclusion programs.
MGM Resort International has also run the annual Martin Luther King holiday parade in Vegas for more than a decade, with Gladney at the forefront of the efforts — even though he remains behind the scenes.
“So we continue to widen our footprint, with many of those footprints in urban markets,” Gladney added. “We’ve been able to have an impact on supplier diversity from a standpoint of the elevation of executives in the C-suite that are from more diverse backgrounds. I’m very excited about [MGM Resort International’s] commitment.”