IMPACT

Talent Does Not Discriminate

Making Diversity the Norm in Your Company’s Culture

09/18/2017 18:35 EDT

Embracing diversity of thought, background and culture has been part of the fabric of The Bozzuto Group since our founding. My father, Chairman and Co-Founder Tom Bozzuto, has always strongly expressed that, “Talent does not discriminate.” This is not just an expression, but an action reinforced by our leaders and employees every day. The more that we act on inclusion, the more it will become the norm.

The Bozzuto Group remains thoroughly committed to a policy of inclusion and non-discrimination. The genders, cultures, races and sexual orientation of our associates are what make Bozzuto so rich and beautiful. The uniqueness that each of our team members brings to the table, provides us all with a diversity of thought and perspective that makes us one of the best companies in America. Our company is every bit as passionate, inspiring and vibrant as the communities we create and serve.

Despite our different backgrounds, we are united in our desire to create extraordinary experiences for our customers, clients, partners, and each other.

Together, we deliver sanctuary. We are responsible for building inspiring environments that invite our customers to be their best selves. We celebrate the joy in making someone smile, in exceeding their expectations, and in knowing what they need before they do. By having a diversity of perspectives on our team, we are able to understand and relate to our customers better than others. 

At Bozzuto, gender equality, diversity and inclusion is not a talking point, but rather a way that we will run our company now, and in the future. We hope to be the standard by which other companies measure themselves. 

For a modern company, eschewing diversity in your workforce is an antiquated, myopic and candidly offensive strategy. Conversely, proactively working to make diversity the norm in your company’s culture will allow you to experience the true joy of solving problems and relating to customers with different perspectives.

The onus is on business leaders today to drive a diverse and inclusive culture deep into their organization. This quest for diversity cannot be relegated to simply being a strategic goal. Instead, CEO’s need to set the tone and make diversity a focal point when hiring and promoting.   

It is not enough to say that you have a diverse company. We need to look at boardrooms and investment committees and make note of the diversity within those ranks. In many companies across America, there is an alarming paucity of diversity in the highest echelons of leadership.  

Companies that do foster diverse senior leadership teams will create tangible examples for others to aspire to both internally and externally. Potential future employees are attracted to Bozzuto because they are able to relate with leaders who have had similar experiences as them. We have been the beneficiaries of some amazing new hires that were desirous of being part of an organization whose cultural makeup was reflective of their own. Furthermore, we are able to retain excellent employees because not only do we ignore a glass ceiling, but we encourage our associates to shatter it.

The power of different perspectives can push a company further. Personally, I rely on my Chief Administrative Officer Julie Smith, and Bozzuto Management Company President Stephanie L. Williams, to bring forward different points of view. Their backgrounds, insights and experience have helped Bozzuto expand our collective way of thinking.

At Bozzuto, it is important that our clients and partners share our same values. In turn, we encourage an open and accepting environment in all of our communities. We want our residents to have the same welcoming and inclusive experience as our employees, clients and partners. Diversity is not something you can partially implement; it should influence every aspect of your business.

 For example, Bozzuto recently added Paid Parental Leave for all birth mothers, fathers and adoptive parents to our benefits package. We understand the importance of family and want to give parents flexibility and time to take care of their needs. Open communication is also invaluable because it allows employees to tell you what matters most to them. After listening to requests from our employee feedback platform, Bozzuto Voices, we added more nursing lounges to our corporate office. Because of our receptive culture, we were able to fulfill a need that would have gone unrealized otherwise.

Diversity of thought, background and culture will be a direct benefit to your business. At Bozzuto, we look forward to creating a multi-generational company that we are just as likely to pass on to our daughters as we would our sons.

In this series, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ signatory CEOs share their dedication to acting for workplace diversity and inclusion to make impactful changes that benefit both business and society. Follow along with #CEOAction and learn more at CEOAction.com.