If you’ve been paying much attention, you’ve likely noticed that DEI has become a polarizing topic often being used as political propaganda, but I’d like to take the next few minutes to go beyond the acronym and break down the significance of these three letters.
D- Diversity is a celebration of the rich tapestry of humanity. It's about people and recognizing and embracing the differences that make us unique – whether it's our backgrounds, cultures, experiences, or perspectives. When we foster diversity, we create a mosaic of ideas that can drive innovation and progress.
100% of the agents in our brokerage are people and 100% of our clients are people - each one uniquely different from the one before.
E- Equity is the bridge that closes the gap of opportunity. It's about acknowledging that not everyone starts from the same place or has the same advantages. Equity means actively working to provide people with the tools, resources, and support they need to succeed. It's understanding that fairness isn't always about treating everyone the same, but about meeting people where they are and helping them reach their full potential.
In real estate, equity may look like providing certain clients with down payment assistance in order to purchase their first home. They qualify. They have the credit and the income, but may need assistance with the capital.
I- Inclusion is the glue that binds diversity and equity together. It's not just inviting people to the table; it's ensuring that their voice is heard and their contributions are valued. Inclusive spaces embrace all perspectives, creating a sense of belonging where people feel empowered to share ideas that make us all successful.
The concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion should not be polarizing or divisive. When approached holistically, these concepts create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that benefits everyone – Real estate agents, real estate brokerages, and society at large.
Get to Know Julia Lashay Israel
Head of Inclusion and Belonging Keller Williams Realty International
Julia Lashay Israel consults for some of the world’s largest real estate companies and government agencies. Named Texas’ Top 100 Professionals to Watch in 2022, Julia Lashay helps real estate leaders and other industry professionals all across the country grow their businesses through training, coaching, and strategic career development. Over the past 20 years, Israel has trained and coached thousands of professionals. Julia Lashay Israel is the head of inclusion and belonging for Keller Williams Realty International, co-founder and owner of Refocus Training and Consulting, and a licensed real estate broker in Minnesota and Texas. Julia Lashay has authored and instructed courses on diversity, leadership and career development. Her energy, upbeat personality and in-depth knowledge has resulted in her students consistently ranking her 5 out of 5 as a preferred instructor. She is also an Inman contributing author. A community leader and homeownership advocate, Julia Lashay is a founding member and past president of the Twin Cities National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). She also serves on the National Association of REALTORS Diversity Committee and numerous other real estate boards and committees. In 2020, Israel received the Exceptional Service award conveyed by the Minneapolis Area REALTORS. Julia Lashay Israel was recognized as a 2021 & 2023 RISMedia Newsmaker and Real Trends 2022 Emerging Leader. She has been featured on several news and radio stations including Fox 9 News, Kare 11, the Star Tribune, REALTOR Magazine, Texas Business Journal and guest appearances on HGTV.