Essential Foundations for Workplace DEI

Originally published on August 1, 2023, by Brielle Scott for NAIOP.

Making progress on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in commercial real estate may be challenging, but the workforce deserves – and increasingly demands – meaningful progress. However, organizations often aren’t sure where to begin.

In the first in a DEI webinar series presented by Trammel Crow Company, Rhonda Payne, CAE, founder and CEO of Flock Theory, introduced foundational concepts and key terms related to diversity, equity and inclusion.

“There is no shame in starting where you are and knowing where you want to go when it comes to your DEI practice,” she said.

Dimensions of Personal Identity

Payne introduced the concept of dimensions of personal identity, which can include where you are born, your religion, your status as a veteran, primary language and parental status, for example.

“Our personal identity is usually much more complex than we give it credit for when we introduce ourselves to one another, and it’s quite a missed opportunity,” Payne said, adding that if you begin to introduce yourself to others in a more complex and holistic way that points to all areas of your personal identity, you will find you have much more in common with people than you realize.

“This is how I want you to go into thinking about DEI,” she added.

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