Claudio Bernardes

For decades, the real estate industry has been formed by an almost exclusively male universe, especially in leadership positions, a fact that, effectively, is not healthy for the sector. Addressing the topic of D&I (diversity and inclusion) goes far beyond gender issues. This debate includes topics of generational imbalance, ethnicity, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, among others, which must be duly addressed.

In order to deal with this properly, it is necessary to understand what can be considered a diverse and inclusive business environment, what its advantages are, and how this can be achieved.

There are many definitions of diversity and inclusion, but it is possible to say that in a diverse and inclusive business environment, all people are part of a single team, and any individual has equal opportunities to participate in the company’s activities and develop their potential.

However, on the one hand, workplace inclusion aims to ensure that all individuals have an equal opportunity to succeed, preventing some from being discriminated against or treated differently due to certain physical or personality characteristics.

Accepting diversity means valuing differences between individuals, especially in the context of professional activities, ensuring that each of the attributes and variable characteristics are properly recognized and enhanced.

According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Survey, D&I is critical to business performance as it increases creativity and innovation in teams. According to the report, organizations with a culture of inclusion are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets and three times as likely to achieve high performance.

In addition, these companies are six times more likely to be more agile and innovative, and eight times more likely to achieve better business results. The indirect effects of having a diverse and inclusive workforce include a better image of the company and greater attraction and retention of talent.

Diversity in the workplace often results in a much broader spectrum of creativity, from people with different backgrounds, skills and experiences. Overall, employees who feel included and wanted will be more engaged and motivated to perform well.

Also not to be overlooked is the fact that a more diverse team helps the company gain a broader understanding of its customers, what they want and what they are looking for, with obvious benefits for the business.

For the real estate sector to move towards a diverse and more inclusive environment, it is necessary to recognize that the implementation of a D&I model requires a change in the mentality of all the actors involved. This requires a clear positioning of companies to include D&I as part of organizational goals, and the same behavior is expected from class associations linked to the sector.

It is vital to create a work environment where all employees are heard and can suggest and create change. Commitment to diversity and inclusion goals, monitored by a team that oversees the company’s efforts in this regard, is essential.

Companies need to think carefully about how to broadly introduce D&I into their operations, identifying the challenges to be faced and the alternatives for implementing a successful process.

Certainly, achieving a broad D&I-based operating model across the real estate industry is not an easy task. But the restructuring of personnel recruitment and selection policies, the training of employees in leadership positions, and the investment in internal communication projects are among the fundamental actions to move towards a diverse and inclusive sector, with all the benefits for companies in the sector and for society.

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