I recently had the extraordinary honor of representing Bozzuto alongside 70 other CEOs and Presidents at a closed-door “CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion” session in New York City. Thanks to the hard work of Julie Smith, Stephanie L. Williams and Kristen Reese, Bozzuto was one of the original signatories to this amazing initiative. This first-of-its kind forum allowed CEOs to share best practices and speak candidly with one another about how to advance inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
We collectively acknowledged that while there are significant inclusion and diversity issues today, we, as business leaders have a unique opportunity to confront them together and take action. This is our responsibility. The Bozzuto Group must continue to set the standard that others will measure themselves by— after all, to lead means to go first.
Let me affirm now and forever, that Bozzuto’s commitment to these efforts will remain a critical part of our corporate DNA. The diversity within our company has, and will continue to be our secret sauce.
Our workforce will continue to be reflective of the diverse customers and clients that we serve. the diverse customers and clients that we serve. At Bozzuto, we recognize the richness and beauty of our diversity. Furthermore, by truly walking the walk, we have the momentum to become leaders in best practices, in our industry and beyond. I can tell you from what I learned at the conference, we are already well on our way to being a leader.
In addition to being the right thing to do, maintaining diverse and inclusive teams within our company allows us to be smarter and more innovative, while giving us a far better chance to achieve financial success. Ellen McGirt, Senior Editor of Fortune Magazine, implored us to consider how “people who have the next world-changing idea lurking inside of them, but who currently feel invisible at work or unsafe in a complex world” might be stifled. Embracing diversity will drive our business forward.
Bozzuto does not consider these efforts to be “initiatives.” To me, an initiative implies a beginning and an end. I am confident these efforts will never truly end (nor should they). As such, we will be committed to:
- Creating a trusting and open workplace, where real and sometimes difficult conversations arise. We are going to have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
- Identifying and understanding unconscious bias and our “blind spots” through communication.
- Taking actionable steps to move our company, and our industry, forward.
- Making diversity and inclusion among our top priorities when discussing business strategies.
- Taking risks on people and creating opportunities for diverse employees.
- Prioritizing inclusivity, and working to mentor, support and engage groups with diverse experience and background across the company.
- Holding each other accountable for results.
It is imperative that we all work together so that everyone has a seat at the table and is participatory in our success. We will ensure that our company is considered a place of trust, where candid and difficult conversations take place. We will learn from one another, and be far better for it.
This is our time, and our chance to make a real difference. Let’s seize this opportunity and show the world what Bozzuto can do.