RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2018 59 Increasing diversity of rep- resentation in your business will require more than meeting quotas. Placing experienced women in top positions is nec- essary to have more diverse voices at the table where ma- jor decisions are made. How- ever, for these professionals to be perceived as more than just token hires, there needs to be a culture shift in companies that embrace D&I. According to Mercer's 2017 When Women Thrive report, analyzed in the NAWRB 2018 Women in the Housing Ecosystem Report, effective gender strategies are those that take place at the in- dividual and organizational level. Here are some key characteristics of effective practices for increasing female representation at all profes- sional employment levels. RESEARCH WHAT WORKS Organizations should conduct re- search both within and outside their company to figure out which practic- es are creating change, and which efforts need to be improved. This might involve creating bet- ter leave and flexibility programs for employees, reconfiguring leadership roles that complement women's unique competencies, and training managers to effectively administer leave and return-to-work processes. ENSURE PAY EQUITY Women thrive when organizations have a strong pay equity process, as they're more likely to have greater female representation when they also have a team dedicated to gender equality. Methods for ensuring pay equity include adopting processes based on pay data and statistical analysis, supplemented with remediation pro- tocols, and implementing fair pro- motions and performance manage- ment with a gender lens. MEET DIVERSE NEEDS It's crucial for organizations to assist a diverse workforce with programs that meet their unique health and financial needs, which vary between men and women. Compared to men, women tend to have lower-paying jobs, more gaps in terms of provided services, and live longer. Companies should take into ac- count the various obstacles women face in achieving economic growth when implementing programs to help them succeed at the personal and professional level. INCORPORATE D&I IN YOUR WORK CULTURE These initiatives are only effec- tive if they're adopted as part of a company's practices and ethos. There can be disagreement within an organization about the neces- sity and effectiveness of these ef- forts, which should be discussed in an open, encouraging environment. If a company's top executive and managers don't make D&I a priority, then it can't be expected that other employees will. D&I initiatives can effect change when all genders and employment levels work together to ensure equal opportunity within their organiza- tions. Women thrive when men are also engaged in D&I efforts. Gen- der diversity needs to be adopted by all employees, because having a diverse workforce helps the entire company succeed. RE Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chairwoman of NAWRB's Diversity & Inclusion Leader- ship Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in housing, Patno is a champion for women's economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur. com named her the Highest- Ranking Woman and 4 th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.com. Increasing Gender Diversity Without Quotas Commentary by Desirée Patno D iversity and inclusion (D&I) continues to be a priority in the corporate world, especially in the housing ecosystem. To increase opportunities for women, some have advocated legislative action. One example is California's potential SB 826 bill, a law that would require the state's largest public companies to have at least one woman on their board by the end of 2019. While such policy action may be perceived as long overdue, enforcing quotas is not an all-encompassing solution to the lack of diversity in companies' executive positions.

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