RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

MAY 2019

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 May 2019 41 The bill has received support from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Council of Institutional Investors and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a way to increase the diverse representation of gender, race and ethnicity on the corporate boards of directors. Having a diverse board leads to better business performance, ac - cording to PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) Annual Corporate Directors Survey. Of the board directors sur - veyed, 94 percent claimed that hav- ing a diverse board brings unique perspectives, 84 percent indicated that such diversity "enhances board performance," and 91 percent stat - ed that their boards are taking mea- sures to increase diversity. The bill will endeavor to make sure public companies are doing their part to bring more unique voices to the table by empowering the U.S. Se - curities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) to publish triennial reports of best practices for comply - ing with the new disclosure rules, as well as create an advisory council with the Federal Advisory Commit - tee Act. OMWI will also be allowed to solicit public comments on its best practices publications. The Chamber notes that this "model to organically boost diversity on boards" has the potential to be more effective at producing deliver - ables than quota-driven strategies that have previously been attempted by jurisdictions. NAWRB has been heavily involved in addressing the issue of diversity and inclusion throughout the entire housing ecosystem. In August 2010, I wrote an article for HousingWire bringing attention to the Dodd-Frank Act—specifically provision 342— calling for the creation of OMWI in federal agencies beginning in Janu - ary 2011. This was a major step toward ac - countability for women's employment and women-owned businesses in our industry. Since then, we've had OMWI directors speak at each and every one of our conferences to discuss current progress and strategies. Six years later, NAWRB submitted comments in response to the Feder - al Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Request for Comments (RFC), published by the FHFA in Oc - tober 2016, calling for the public's input on the proposed changes to their minority and women inclusion amendments. Our comments were taken into consideration and dis - cussed in the rule's final version. In 2018, we publicly supported the passing of SB 826, the Women on Corporate Boards Bill that required public companies in California to have at least one woman on their boards by the end of 2019. We're pleased to see policies and legislation taking a step toward ac - tionable solutions for increasing the representation of women and mi - norities at all levels of employment, making sure they have a seat at the table. 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 chair- woman of NAWRB's Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in hous- ing, 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. Corporate Bill Requests Companies Disclose Representation on Boards Commentary by Desirée Patno I n February, Representative Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 1018, the Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019, which will require public companies to disclose the gender, race, ethnicity and veteran status of their board directors, nominees and senior executive officers as a way to track the progress of diverse representation in the corporate sphere.

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