MReport July 2017

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34 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE • • Attract•new•talent:•A key element in the workplace to attract and most importantly to retain new talent is to be diverse. A diverse organization will appeal to all sorts of persons who have unique talents that could be ex- ceptional competitive advantages in such an aggressive business environment. • • Synergy•between•teams:•Inclusion of diverse employees promotes acceptance, which fosters teamwork where each person is seen as an essential piece to the overall success of the team. • • Greater•communication:•The pres - ence of diversity invites open means of communication where each opinion is heard and val- ued, not treated as isolated and different. Employees will voice concerns much more easily than in environments that are not diverse. • • Enhanced•business•reputation:• Nowadays, businesses must make greater efforts to be diverse and promote inclusion of diver - sity. When they are not, they are negatively perceived by many sectors of our society. Market share increases as businesses display more diversity efforts. • • Expanded•to•global•markets: The di- versity of languages and cultures opens the door to expansion in international and global markets from which those differences derive. The market of the 20th century is not a local or national economy, but instead it is a global market space. Diversity Challenges N onetheless, beyond all the positive consequences, there are some challenges to diversity and inclusion. • • Mis-communication:•Ineffective communication of organization- al objectives due to cultural and language barriers can negatively impact teamwork. • • Resistance•to•change:•There will always be those who refuse to change or adapt to change because it may seem complicated at first, or simply different. • • Implementation•of•diversity•policies:• Organizations need to develop a strategy and implement a plan to promote diversity and inclu- sion in the workplace. • • Successful•management•of•diversity:•A culture of diversity must be estab- lished by educating employees and continuously measuring diversity and inclusion. The Diversity Landscape in America I n our country, the implementa- tion of diversity in the work- place started when people of color and women entered the labor force. As our society progresses, the concept of diversity keeps evolving as well. Today, the LG - BTQ community is an essential part of our labor force in general. As our country still promotes the American Dream to the rest of the world, immigrants continue to transform the makeup of our workplace. According to Nielsen Research, today, 51 percent of children aged nine and under have multicultural origins, and by 2017, fewer than five in 10 Americans will be classified as white non- Hispanic. The fastest-growing minority is Hispanic Americans; by 2020, this group will compose 54 percent of the U.S. population; by 2030, it will increase to 64 per - cent and by 2060, to a shocking 85 percent. The next fastest-growing minority is Asian-Americans, fol- lowed by Multi-Racial Americans. The United States is in the mid- dle of a major demographic change, comparable to when the baby boomers transformed the make-up of our country in the last century. Minorities will make an increasing impact on society, the economy, and politics. This minority growth occurs as the white non-Hispanic population is aging and slowing its growth. However, the transforma - tion of these minority groups into the majority of the population of the United States is not only happening due to immigration but mainly due to U.S.-born Americans of minority descent. Is Real Estate Lagging Behind? H owever, despite of all these demographic changes, is the real estate industry truly diverse? We have made significant prog- ress, but we still have a long way to advance. The New York real estate magazine, The•Real•Deal, exposed this fact in its January edition in an articled titled, "Real Estate's Diversity Problem." The article was about how real estate in New York has long been viewed as an insular world where white men pull the strings. While issues of discrimination and diversity are starting to be addressed in other industries, what are New York's developers and brokers doing to level the playing field? In the cover story of its January 2017 issue, The• Real•Deal•took an in-depth look at the real estate's exclusionary culture, the female and minority players who defied the odds and made it big, and what it might take for the industry to change. In the residential arena of real estate, women and minorities are present, but the highest-ranking positions are still retained mostly by white male non-Hispanics. In the commercial field, women have made strides, but minorities remain largely absent. This has been the norm historically, and sadly there are very few signs of advancement toward diversity and inclusion. Some of the major barriers of entry for minorities and women as inves - tors or business owners in the real estate industry are lack of access to capital, an insufficient business network for support and opportu - nities, and absence of essential skills to lead a business. The Path Ahead G enerations have different perspectives in diversity and inclusion. Baby boomers and Gen- eration X-ers see these concepts as the right thing to do, while, millennials see it as an essential element to business success. As a millennial in the real estate industry, my hope is that we can brainstorm about diversity and inclusion and implement strategies in order to reduce the race and gender wealth gaps and correct the income and wealth inequal - ity. This is the big elephant in the room that we love to talk about but really don't want to deal with. It is a reality. It is here. Embrace diversity, or millennials will leave you behind. ADRIANA MONTES, J.D.,•is•a•self-made• woman-minority•business• owner•who•immigrated•from• Colombia•to•the•U.S.•at•the•age•of•18•not• knowing•any•English•and•built•a•real•estate• empire,•achieving•her•American•Dream.•A• firm•believer•in•education,•Montes• completed•her•Juris•Doctorate•from• Thomas•Cooley•Law•School,•Western• Michigan•University.•She•has•a•master's•in• Business•Administration•with•a• specialization•in•nonprofits•and•a• bachelor's•degree•in•Finance•and• Marketing•from•the•University•of•Central• Florida.•Montes•has•been•recognized•by• the•National•Association•of•Hispanic•Real• Estate•Professionals•as•one•of•the•top•250• Latino•Agents•in•the•U.S.• "The United States is in the middle of a major demographic change, comparable to when the baby boomers transformed the make-up of our country in the last century."

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