Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 15

Changing Hearts
And Minds
What does it really mean to have a diverse
Q: and

inclusive organization?
To create real, sustainable, cultural, and behavioral change,
which is really the essence of diversity and inclusion, organizations must be authentic in their commitment. It can't be a
reactive response to a moment in time.
Having a diverse and inclusive organization means that
people, regardless of who they are, have positive, engaging
experiences. And this can only happen if organizations, and
the people leading them, are intentional, have clear goals,
and are held accountable for achieving those goals.
kinds of discussions and/or initiatives
Q: What

have
arisen at JBG SMITH as a result of the
national reckoning on social justice matters?
Recent events have caused many companies to take a more
proactive approach to demonstrating their commitment
to diversity and inclusion. In some cases, it has created the
burning platform that many organizations needed to think
differently about the work and why it's important.
However, I think time will tell whether corporations will
extend their commitment beyond position statements and/
or donations. Because as we know, changing the diverse
landscape of senior ranks within organizations takes
steadfast commitment and intentionality, as well as proper
planning.
At JBG SMITH, we've definitely started having those
conversations, even prior to recent events. From a cultural perspective, we focused on ways to engage with and
hear from our employees. We launched our D&I Employee
Roundtable Series and kicked it off with our " Black Voices "
segment, which provided a platform for our Black employees
to engage in dialogue and share how they were feeling about
current events.
I also led multiple team discussions and dialogues around
racial justice, implicit bias, and inclusive leadership to help
create the safe spaces needed to step outside of our comfort
zones and engage in meaningful conversations.
Additionally, we have integrated diversity and inclusion
into our philanthropic efforts and have committed to supporting even more grass roots organizations, small and local
businesses, as well as racial justice causes.
But for me personally, none of these actions happened as
a result of a " national reckoning. " They happened because
they are part of our strategy. While we may have adjusted the
timing of certain aspects based on the external landscape,
it's important to emphasize that when diversity and inclusion
is strategic-not simply a program or initiative-these are the
types of things you should be doing anyway. And they should
continue well beyond the moment.

Dawnita Wilson of JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS) was the
individual recipient of Nareit's 2020 Diversity, Equity &
Inclusion Recognition Award. Wilson joined the REIT in
2019 as its first-ever VP of diversity and inclusion, bringing
more than 15 years of relevant experience to the company.

ow can REITs work to ensure that the focus on
Q: Hdiversity
and inclusion can be maintained?
It all comes down to commitment and intentionality. Focusing
on diversity and inclusion beyond a moment in time means
that organizations must implement changes that are sustainable and build infrastructures that will continue to yield
the results that they want to see. Having a comprehensive,
multi-year strategy with clear goals and measures is critical to
accomplishing that.
are the opportunities and the challenges
Q: What

within
the commercial real estate sector for
promoting greater diversity and inclusion?
Some specific opportunities include developing strategies
to engage and advance diverse talent, establishing strategic
partnerships to help build your brand in diverse communities, raising awareness and building diversity and inclusion
competency company-wide, and ensuring that you approach
everything you do with an equitable and inclusive mindset. It's
really about changing hearts and minds, which will eventually
lead to changing behaviors.
But I feel the greatest opportunity continues to lie in
an organization's willingness to challenge the status quo,
be intentional, and drive accountability at all levels of the
organization, which again, requires solid, authentic commitment. If diversity and inclusion is truly a priority and there is
explicit, genuine commitment, actions will speak far louder
than words.

Nareit: Real estate working for you |

15



Reit Magazine - January/February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Reit Magazine - January/February 2021

Contents
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - Cover1
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - Contents
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 1
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 2
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 3
Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 4
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Reit Magazine - January/February 2021 - 6
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