Business leaders need to pay attention to how they welcome diversity and invest in creating better workplaces for employees, workplace strategy firm says.
TORONTO, August 10, 2022 – As businesses seek to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, the real estate development industry struggles to make progress, due to the limited commitment and investment into incorporating diversity and equity into the business strategy, says Matrix360, a boutique, diverse-owned talent management and workplace strategy firm based in Toronto.
“Many businesses have created strategies to address diversity through narrow frames focused on representation within leadership levels. Representation matters, but what continues to be ignored are the systemic changes that are required to address and transform the industry,” said Chandran Fernando, managing partner of Matrix360.
“Many business leaders continue to wear blinders,” Fernando continued, “and are not comfortable with addressing the complexities within diversity and tend to think in linear and binary terms – for example, with gender equity, most business commitments have focused on white women and continue to ignore the intersectionality of women.”
Matrix360’s nationwide survey of Canadian commercial real estate and development professionals found the business sector’s demographics do not reflect those of the country as a whole. Women make up 47% of the overall workforce, and 52% of the real estate workforce, but occupy just 34% of ownership, partnership and C-suite positions. Similarly, people who define themselves as members of visible minority groups make up about 19% of the overall workforce, but occupy just 14% of those highest leadership positions. Similarly, about 4% of workers define themselves as of Aboriginal descent (Native Canadian or First Nations) and are similarly underrepresented. However, a strong majority 69% believe diversity perspectives are important. That means the commercial real estate sector faces a challenging period of reflection.
“Communities are only able to transform after uncomfortable conversations around DEI are brought to the surface and addressed,” Fernando said. “While it may be intimidating for real estate businesses to have these conversations, they are the most reliable vehicle we have to accelerate change in the industry and build the diverse communities we wish to see, both internally and externally.”
“While many real estate businesses are slow to understand the importance of data collection of their employee networks, these surveys alone are not enough to make a real impact,” he said. To achieve a true solution, they must examine their own internal processes and systems, specifically focused on workplace culture and talent management.
For two decades, Matrix360 has been developing tailored solutions for commercial real estate and development firms to help promote inclusive workplaces. The team’s approach is based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is designed to help evolve workplace cultures where all people thrive.
“Matrix360 employs behavioural science techniques, emotional intelligence and inclusive systems to develop truly inclusive workplaces, where every employee can reach their potential,” Fernando said. “Only when a business can maximize the talents of every employee can it innovate and succeed in our modern and diverse society.”
To learn more about Matrix360’s work with DEI initiatives, or to learn more about the team’s equity solutions and recruitment services, please visit https://matrix360.ca/.
Matrix360 is a boutique diverse-owned talent management and workplace strategy firm. With two decades of experience, our structured approach is framed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals to evolve workplace cultures where all people thrive.
We collaborate with leaders to deliver solutions focused on people. With our unique solutions, we strive to set a new industry standard for what excellence in diversity looks like, where we are able to influence positive business outcomes: innovation, sustainable growth, and inclusive communities.
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