‘Everyone Can Lead:’ Advocating For Inclusion at Every Level

WASHINGTON–A landmark McKinsey & Co. study, “Why Diversity Matters,” offered several telling benefits to a diverse and inclusive workplace. These benefits include:

–Public companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean.

–Public companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15 percent more likely to have returns above the industry mean.

–Inclusive decision-making improves business performance. Diverse teams make better business decisions (87 percent); make decisions twice as quickly in half the meetings; and deliver 60 percent better results.

TrinaScottFor Trina Scott, Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion with Quicken Loans, Detroit, the philosophy is simple: “If an organization has an inclusive element, diversity will follow,” she said here at the recent Mortgage Bankers Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Summit.

Scott led a discussion here with members of mPact, the MBA network for young professionals in the real estate finance industry. She said Quicken promotes several “pillars” of success:

Recruitment (attracting diverse talent). Scott noted Quicken hires 250 people per month and has 33,000 employees. “One of the things we had to establish is that my office is not the only part of Quicken responsible for diversity,” she said. “We are all responsible for promoting diversity.”

Retention. “In addition to recruiting diverse talent, organizations must create ‘pathways’ to attract and retain that talent,” Scott said.

Community engagement. “We focus on education, entrepreneurship and engagement,” Scott said. She cited a Quicken-sponsored program that encourages single-family rental homeowners to sell their homes to their tenants. She said more than 80 families have participated thus far.

Supplier diversity. “We make sure that other companies that work with Quicken are also engaged in diversity and inclusion,” Scott said.

Scott said it’s important to find solutions that support D&I as well as the goals of the company. “You need to go deep into the culture of your organization; cookie-cutter approaches don’t work as well,” she said. “We brought 1,700 leaders from the Quicken companies in for training and dialogue…we were able to set the tone for them to take back to their teams.”

Scott emphasized the benefits of attracting diverse talent go beyond the organization. “You’re leaving money on the table if you are not focused on who your consumers are,” she said. “Business is green.”