Leaders have a responsibility to create opportunities for women and minorities on their teams. The Agency’s Rainy Hake Austin dives deep into the time and attention required to amplify her agent’s voices.
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Being an executive of a global company comes with the responsibility and opportunity to make an impact. It’s not a duty to take lightly. Supporting and making space for others, particularly women and minorities, requires thoughtful attention.
Leaders have to intentionally remain committed to providing opportunities for staff and agents and create a structure that is inclusive, celebrates diversity and strives for equity. Not sure where to get started in bettering your company’s approach to this?
Here are three questions you can ask yourself to evaluate your organization (and your own leadership) and make shifts as needed.
Are you amplifying the voices of others?
Consider who is on panels, who is being featured in marketing and who is serving as thought leaders within your company or team. Is it a homogenous voice and perspective? If so, it’s time to make a change.
Representation matters and amplifying the voices of women and minorities is an important part of running a responsible organization and bettering the world.
There are many ways to do this: on social media, in company newsletters, in live events, in editorial opportunities and in one-on-one conversations. Everyone has a different perspective, and hearing only one is an incredible loss for all.
Plus, whenever you’re in the spotlight — especially if you’re representative of the dominant perspective — make sure to share the stage and bring other voices in to be heard.
Are you committed to conversations?
Disparity is not an issue that will be solved in days, months or even years. So, are you in for the long haul? What is your long-term strategy for creating an equitable and diverse organization and culture? Yes, sometimes this means having hard conversations and being vulnerable. But that’s where your power as a leader lies.
It’s also crucial to allow groups within your company to have the space and support to engage in ongoing conversations of their own. That means you could form a women’s group that gets together once a month to discuss a relevant topic, open up about challenges and lend insight into ways to overcome hurdles. Create a Slack channel, digital forum or virtual event that serves as a safe space for diverse groups.
Are you aligning your organization with like-minded partners?
Team up with companies and nonprofits that are doing this work and care about the wellbeing, success and representation of all groups.
For example, REAP — the Real Estate Associate Program — is a successful initiative in the commercial real estate industry that aims to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion through education, mentorship, and partnerships.
This nonprofit is based in New York City, but there are other organizations throughout the country and world that are dedicated to these issues. Seek them out, collaborate and elevate each other. You also have the opportunity to center your philanthropic efforts around raising awareness and funds for these issues.
The Agency partners with Giveback Homes to create affordable housing for families in need across the country — it’s something our agents and staff are passionate about and proud to dedicate their time and energy toward supporting. What is important to your organization? Talk to your colleagues, hear diverse voices and take action to make a change.
You have the power as a leader to make a positive impact for women and minorities, groups who have historically been presented with significant challenges in the world of business, including real estate. So, dive in, listen and learn — it’s time.