MBA Honors JLL for Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
By Michael Tucker
March 6, 2018
SAN DIEGO--Diversity and inclusion are critical parts of the real estate finance business because they cultivate workplace innovation and efficiency--enabling firms to do their best work for clients.
At the recent Mortgage Bankers Association's Commercial Real Estate Finance/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo, MBA honored JLL, Chicago, with the second annual Commercial/Multifamily Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award for its organization-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives.
MBA Chairman-Elect Christopher George said JLL has a "comprehensive and multi-faceted diversity and inclusion program that embraces the core concept that diversity and inclusion must be both deliberate and intentional."
George, President and CEO of CMG Financial, San Ramon, Calif., and Chair of MBA's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, said JLL proves the business case for focusing on diversity and inclusion "by demonstrating commitment to recruiting and retaining diverse employees, hands-on involvement from executive leadership and hosting a suite of events for women and minority employees."
JLL Executive Managing Director and Co-head of JLL Capital Markets Finance Tom Fish accepted the award with Managing Director of JLL Capital Markets Karen Shea. Fish said his firm's diversity and inclusion program represents the best of JLL's culture: "Diversity is imperative to our business's success, and we're proud to be recognized for our efforts," he said.
JLL has embedded D&I initiatives throughout its business with three councils to provide strategic direction. The councils include:
--The Americas D&I Council, which includes the firm's CEO, CHRO, Head of Talent, National Employee Resource Group leads, Business Champions and an HR Champion who are passionate about improving JLL's business and community relationships by enhancing D&I programs and activities.
--The Corporate Solutions D&I Council: Sitting within the Corporate Solutions business, this council is driven by Corporate Solutions leadership and reports through the Americas D&I Council.
--The Markets D&I Council: Sitting within the Markets business, this council is driven by Markets leadership and also reports through the Americas D&I Council.
"Research shows that companies with diverse workforces achieve better results, and we make sure that is evident among our people and in our work with clients," said JLL Americas Director of Diversity and Inclusion Grant Clarke. He noted the JLL D&I framework includes both strong accountability and measures to monitor progress. "Tracking and quantifying progress in this area allows us to expand and refine our approach in order to produce meaningful change," he said.
Clark said JLL seeks to create and promote a "culture" of engagement and inclusion. "Whether we are a senior leader, a people manager or an employee, we each support this culture and strive to connect to one another," he said. "Working in an environment that includes and values each person enables JLL employees to contribute at their highest levels every day."
To reach its goal, JLL created Employee Resource Groups. More than 7,500 employees take part in Employee Resource Groups for African American, Latino, LGBT, female, veteran and employees of all abilities. "These voluntary, employee-led groups provide a platform to celebrate diversity, surface great ideas, network with peers and make meaningful connections across the organization," Clark said.
JLL also seeks to recruit diverse talent. "We realize that talent is everywhere so we have expanded our reach within and outside our industry," Clark said. "Because diverse talent comes from diverse sources, we actively promote diversity and inclusion to gain a distinct advantage in recruiting efforts."
Embracing diversity and inclusion as a core strategy is not only beneficial, it's essential to meeting rapidly changing and growing business demands, Clark said. "We know that once you embrace diversity and inclusion as a core strategy, there is no turning back. It is a process that has no end--nor should it, as it adapts to a society that is constantly evolving."
A group of judges, including MBA staff and a member company, reviewed the D&I initiatives of all award applicants. Candidates were scored based on their submission's overall quality; identification of a target audience and annual goals; demonstration of a tangible benefit to participants and the overall enterprise; replicability of the program; innovative program approaches and program success in broadening the culture of the organization through the values of diversity and inclusion.
The MBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed in 2013 to provide leadership and guidance to help the real estate finance industry gain a competitive advantage by increasing diversity in leadership, workforce and suppliers.
MBA encourages its members to support these efforts and to recognize the competitive advantages of embracing a diverse and inclusive workforce and marketplace. For more information about the MBA Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, click https://www.mba.org/who-we-are/mbas-diversity-and-inclusion-initiative/about-mbas-diversity-and-inclusion-initiative.