In partnership with international human and civil rights organization Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Jeffrey Brodsky, Kiera Ellis and Yanet Garcia from Related Midwest’s leadership team participated in a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion in real estate, with a specific focus on construction and development. The Related Midwest team explored how the company is helping to transform the industry into being more inclusive, from creating a company-wide framework to working closely with local community members and organizations.
Vice Chairman Jeffrey Brodsky spoke about the company’s commitment to ensure that the benefits and results created from each project filter all the way down to the community level and help locals. To achieve this, the Related Midwest team has been developing and enacting best practices for decades offering career and wealth building opportunities and incorporating community members’ feedback in developments. Now, the team is developing a broader framework using these best practices that can be implemented by Related offices nationwide and provide benefits to more communities.
Senior Project Manager Yanet Garcia added more insights into how equity, diversity, and inclusion are being demonstrated at Related Midwest in tangible ways, especially within the contracting and hiring processes. Hire360, a platform co-founded by Related Midwest team members, provides career, business and educational resources to the Chicago community. A few of the platform’s goals are to hire from within the community, to provide ongoing career support and to help locals’ businesses access the resources they need to succeed. The program aims to help locals and their businesses become more competitive in the market and create more opportunities for communities that face higher barriers to entry.
Director of Public Affairs Kiera Ellis discussed how the company strives to give community members a voice throughout the development process. Related Midwest’s Community Inclusion Council has brought together trade advocacy groups—such as Black Contractors United, U.S. Supplier Developers Council, and Asian Contractors United—with community leaders and business experts to advise the company on how to better implement diversity, equity and inclusion in their practices. The CIC has allowed the company to bridge the gap between the development side and community participation, providing an opportunity for locals to hold the company more accountable and to voice their opinions, which will affect the future of the industry and their city.