The Case For ‘Splitting Hairs’ Over Gender Equity in North Texas

Brokers (from left) Hinkley, Armstrong, Terry, Dowdle, Littlejohn, and Ankenbrand appear regularly on D CEO’s Power Brokers list, which recognizes the top 20 percent of producers at a given firm. Photo by Shane Kislack.

Last week, D CEO held its third annual Women’s Leadership Symposium. While listening to the 11 female speakers talk about creating more gender equality in North Texas, many people in the audience—including myself—were taking notes. Most of my notes could be boiled down into single sentences or phrases. Gather your squad. Lean in. Speak up. Be the change. Those one-liners get shared, retweeted, printed on glittery T-shirts, and made into hashtags. These messages are important and—if the enthusiasm of our audience was any measure—they are working.

Though, if I’ve learned anything from the many female real estate brokers fighting for gender equality in North Texas, it is this: Palpable change comes from specific and tactical initiatives to reverse sexism and construct equality for everyone in a workplace. We spoke with and featured many of these outspoken women in D CEO’s June story “Equal Measure.” From my months-long reporting, I learned that when business leaders drill down to (for example) create all-encompassing maternity leave, recruit from more diverse talent pools, clearly define diversity and inclusion goals, and foster mentorship programs within their companies, women and men can begin to be measured equally. And many real estate firms in Dallas-Fort Worth are doing just that. I once heard a real estate executive refer to these types of initiatives as “splitting hairs.” But I think I speak for the women interviewed in this story when I say, that’s not splitting hairs. That’s progress.

Read the full story here.

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