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Musings on diversity and inclusion in multifamily - you, too, suppliers!

Musings on diversity and inclusion in multifamily - you, too, suppliers!

No, no - this isn't a political post! Although timely, there's certainly enough conversation going on about that on other forums.

My musings flow from having attended last week's National Multifamily Housing Council's (NMHC) annual meeting in San Diego. Among the many enlightening sessions, one that really resonated with me was the panel titled "An Imperative for Future Business Success: Walking the Talk on Diversity & Inclusion." Really strong panel, and really great content. An oft-quoted source during the discussion was a McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2016 study, you can view an excerpt from the report here.

There was nothing tremendously surprising, of course -- we still have a long way to go as a nation and as an industry to create true diversity and inclusion (and earning parity) for not just women, but all ethnicities, races and orientations. It was extremely encouraging, however, to see that not only did NMHC have a general session devoted to the topic, but that they have a Diversity and Inclusion committee. This high-powered organization and many of its extremely visible members are activity embracing this challenge and creating business strategies (and in some cases departments) devoted to expanding the cultural vision, values and hiring practices around including diversity of thought and individual in the workplace.

Refreshing. Necessary. Smart. Right.

But as someone who hails from the supplier side of the business, it really got me thinking. Indulge me while I wax anecdotal here . . . but while we seem to have a large number of women within supplier ranks, including at the top, we are likely a bit lacking beyond gender. I've been with some really terrific companies serving the industry, and have a good degree of familiarity with many more having been a past chair of the NAA Suppliers' Council as well as the NMHC Supplier-Partner Alliance.  I don't think it's intentional at all -- but as the NMHC leadership pointed out, if companies continue to source employees through all the usual methods, they are going to continue to get the usual results.  It takes a conscious effort and assessment of the process - and a willingness to try new things -  to go down the path of achieving diversity. 

It just makes sense on so many levels, right? We live in a diverse world, we need to include this diversity in our workplaces to every extent possible. It not only creates a culture of inclusion and better corporate responsibility, it creates diversity of thought and breadth of experience and perspective. Supplier companies, how diverse is your workforce?  

Here are a couple of great resources on how to create more diversity in your workplace:

The Right Way to Incorporate Diversity Hiring Goals and Strategies

How to Increase Workplace Diversity

Please let me know your thoughts, or supplier companies you feel do a great job of diversity and inclusion.  I'd love to keep this conversation going!


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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hi Judy,
This is a very thoughtful article. Thank you for writing it.

  Paul Bergeron
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Thanks, Paul!

  Judy Bellack
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Terrific Post! More is needed!!!

-David Kantor

  David Kantor

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  Over the past several months, there have been many articles, forums, discussions, focus groups, and webinars on the need for more diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business. And while there have been many valuable points made and practices shared, there are three themes that have particularly stood out to me. 1. Diversity and Inclusion is not an HR initiative. I really appreciate hearing the clear stance that diversity, equity, and inclusion is NOT simply an HR initiat...
It is so refreshing that more discussions are happening on diversity and inclusion in America, and I stumbled upon an absolutely fantastic video produced by Pegasus Residential on the topic.  I highly recommend watching this enlightening conversation with Dana Hill, Marci French, and hosted by Bevan White.   I think it is absolutely worth watching the entire video, but here are some of the experiences and challenges that they faced growing in their career.  I will try not to ed...
Diversity. It's one of the hottest "hot button" issues in the workplace today. Data and real-world experience tell us that embracing diversity and inclusion (in all forms) and harnessing our differences creates higher-performing teams. Yet our experiences also tell us that this is often easier said than done.    The fact of the matter is that we ARE different. We have many things that do differentiate us from one another. And it IS often hard to bridge those gaps because we a...