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blogs / 20 MAR 2022

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—Guiding Tomorrow’s Leaders

Karen Wilks

mobility magazine

On February 23, 2022, it was my pleasure to participate in the “The Future of Black History is at Realogy” virtual panel alongside senior Realogy leaders and a student from Seton Hall Prep’s Griffin Bridges Program. Our stimulating discussion took a deep dive into why representation matters and how we can overcome roadblocks to success. For those who were unable to attend, I highly recommend watching the webinar replay.

Exploring representation and role modeling

In a world that is still learning how to identify and combat biases, it is critical that we support one another through representation and guidance. As discussed in the webinar, role models—particularly those with which we identify—have an invaluable impact on shaping the formative years of our lives and careers.

Many of us with immigrant parents have faced internal conflict as we developed our careers in young adulthood. We were met with loving resistance at our entrepreneurial ideas that were often deemed too risky or unfathomable for prior generations. This is why it’s important for successful leaders—particularly those who have stepped outside of the box of generational expectations—to “pay it forward” and pave the way for future generations to know that success is attainable. Sharing our knowledge and skills can help level the playing field so that we can all achieve our goals. Building a community focused on involvement and outreach is of the utmost importance to our mutual growth. After all, it takes a village to raise a child, and we can all prosper from supporting one another.

One major aspect of achieving success is not allowing anyone to define our worth, and on the flipside, not holding ourselves to self-limiting beliefs. While some of us may have been taught that “we have to work twice as hard and be twice as good to succeed,” we cannot allow this belief to be true. We must tell ourselves time and time again, “You are good enough. What you bring to the table is enough.”

Growth is often uncomfortable, yet stepping into our own discomfort is what helps us grow. This is the space in which we can evaluate what we need to reach the next level of personal growth. Throughout my life, I often found fear to be a deterrent to taking action. Leaning into fear taught me that we can navigate though situations by getting uncomfortable. In a similar vein, a shared theme that emerged many times throughout the webinar was that “if you’re not adapting and evolving, you become extinct.” And sometimes the situations and obstacles that bring us discomfort are the ones shifting our adaptation toward a better version of ourselves.

Diversity Equity PrimaryImage

Cultivating DE&I initiatives at Realogy and Cartus

Before diversity, equity, and inclusion made headlines across the world, Realogy and Cartus were long weaving DE&I principles into organizational culture and objectives. From hiring global talent that represents a diverse community to guiding clients to create inclusive policies, both companies have been leading DE&I initiatives in their respective industries.

Cartus recently welcomed Lisa Johnson, Director, Global DE&I Solutions to lead internal and client-facing DE&I initiatives and guide the global talent mobility industry toward a more inclusive future.

While Black History Month is celebrated in February, the focus on representation is present throughout the year at Realogy and Cartus. Making all employees feel heard and seen is at the core of company culture. From employee resource groups (ERGs) to inclusive policies, the company culture at Realogy (and Cartus) cultivates a strong, diverse team of professionals who are motivated to help build future leaders within the greater community.

Paving the way for talented youth

It was an honor to take part in Realogy’s partnership with the Griffin Bridges Program at Seton Hall Prep. Karlens Pierre, the senior student moderating our virtual panel, is an outstanding individual and student who demonstrates the importance of supporting tomorrow’s leaders. By providing mentorship and guidance opportunities, we can ensure that motivated young adults—like Karlens and his peers—have the opportunity and support to succeed at their personal and professional goals. As fellow panelist Irving Cham, Coldwell Banker, NJ Growth Manager, Realogy Brokerage Group, expressed, sometimes mentors are there to teach us the lessons we need to learn about ourselves in order to succeed. Sharing a balanced perspective and assisting with goal setting are two simple ways in which mentors can create a rich environment for young adults to grow into their fullest potential. Every day is an opportunity to compete with ourselves to become a better version of who we are. With a little help from a supportive community, the young leaders of tomorrow will be better equipped to become better versions of themselves as they strive toward achieving their goals.

To learn more about Cartus’ DE&I initiatives, feel free to browse more content here.

Head shot of Blog Author Karen Wilks

Karen Wilks

Karen Wilks, Vice President of Strategic Growth, has more than 25 years of global mobility experience, including key roles in Operations and Account Management. She has had oversight of some of Cartus’ key clients, managing large multinational portfolios, driving innovation, and creating a strong culture that supports clients, employees and their families worldwide. Karen truly understands the power of collaboration and execution.  She partners with internal and external stakeholders to drive mobility programs forward and transform in an ever-evolving global environment.