ULI Northwest Blog

Event Recap – Quest for Talent: Recruit (+Keep) Diverse Leaders in Real Estate

Lori Hill welcomes attendees at this week’s Quest for Talent program

On January 16, 2019, ULI Northwest Women’s Leadership Initiative hosted Quest for Talent: Recruit (+Keep) Diverse Leaders in Real Estate.

The event took place at Union Stables and was co-sponsored by Lease Crutcher Lewis and the Runstad Department for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington

The program featured a keynote presentation from Dan Pulver, a Principal at KornFerry, a recruiting and strategy firm based in Los Angeles. Following Dan’s presentation, a panel of senior real estate leaders including Ada Healey, Chief Real Estate Officer, Vulcan, and Jonas Sylvester, President, Unico Properties, commented on Seattle’s tough hiring market and their own experiences seeking diverse candidates. Lori Hill, Managing Director of Capital Markets at JLL, moderated the discussion. 

The following message was prepared by Kris Wilson, Partner, Perkins Coie, and Co-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Initiative in Seattle:


Dan Pulver, our speaker from KornFerry, spoke of the distinction between diversity and inclusion in his presentation.  He said diversity is a fact and inclusion is an action.  Verna Meyers, a diversity consultant whom I have learned from over the years (who is now Netflix’s Vice President, Inclusion Strategy) said it this way:  “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Diversity Checklist

To promote diversity and inclusion in our organizations, we need to act.  But, sometimes it is hard to identify what we can do.  ULI Northwest’s WLI offers the Diversity Checklist to identify actions you might take to make your workplace culture more diverse and inclusive.

As noted in the checklist, one step to take is to educate yourself.  If you attended the Quest for Talent event, you can check one box off that list!

Implicit Bias

A way to understand more about implicit bias is to learn from and interact with the Project Implicit test, blog, and other data, now gathered and reported by a nonprofit that is a collaboration between several universities (including our very own University of Washington).

Howard/Heidi Studies

Another is to examine the social science research in the Howard/Heidi studies conducted regarding hiring processes.  The names of the resumes in the original were Howard Rosen and Heidi Rosen.  It was done by Harvard Business years ago and recently updated by Frank Flynn at Stanford to base it off of Silicon Valley legend Heidi Roizen.  Results were (sadly) similar.

After recognizing that we are all programmed with unconscious bias, the next step is to take action to become consciously unbiased and hopefully, eventually, unconsciously unbiased.  When I take the implicit bias test (and I have done so several times), even trying to beat it, I can’t.  And, that’s what the social science supports.  Our wiring includes it so we really have to consciously slow down, recognize it, and push it to the sideline.  The more practice we get at doing that, we can modify that wiring and create a real cultural impact.

Post written by Kris Wilson, Partner at Perkins Coie

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