May Event Recap: Diversity + Inclusion Program

On Thursday, May 17 more than 50 commercial real estate professionals attended CREW Detroit’s Diversity + Inclusion Program at Barton Malow’s Innovation Hub in Southfield. Centered on diversifying workplaces, developing inclusion programs, and the varying initiatives to diversify businesses in Detroit, the event presented great opportunities for major players in the commercial real estate industry to network with one another and talk about upcoming prospects.

The program’s presenters and subject matter experts were Kenyetta Bridges, Interim Vice President and Director of Real Estate and Financial Services for the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC); Janice Thomas, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Center for the Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council (MMSDC); Michelle Richards, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council; Julie Smith, Senior Human Resources Manager at CBRE; and Sharon Netto-Lipsky, Director of Talent Attraction and Development for Hayworth.

Kenyetta explained the various initiatives the DEGC has in place to diversify commercial real estate in the city of Detroit. She also shared important dates with attendees for upcoming opportunities in neighborhoods outside of downtown.

Janice better explained the criteria for and benefits of becoming a certified minority-owned business, as well as the varying solutions the MMSDC has created for MBEs in Commercial real estate.

Michelle’s perspective related directly to the importance of becoming a certified women-owned business in an adverse economic environment and discussed the work GLWBC network is doing to provide better access to capital and corporate procurement opportunities for small businesses in the region.

Julie presented CBRE’s belief that every employee’s unique skills and insights contribute to the success of the business. She also explained how her team combines and leverages those contributions to their fullest potential in efforts to diversify the workforce.

Sharon explained Hayworth’s company-wide efforts, initiatives and strategies for diversifying and explained how versatile these efforts are for incorporation at varying organizations across the country. She also discussed the challenges companies like Haworth face in attracting talent in a competitive and tight talent market.

Engaging content resulted in several attendees staying later to learn more about the speakers and their perspectives on diversity and inclusion.

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