Event Recording: Exploring DE&I in Central PA Commercial Real Estate
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Throughout March 2021, ULI Philadelphia hosted a sold out four-part virtual mentorship series, organized by the Young Leaders Group and some of the ULI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisors. The series was facilitated by Clayton Mitchell, SVP Real Estate and Facilities, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and included guest presenters Rame Hemstreet, VP for Operations and Chief Sustainable Resources Officer, Kaiser Permanente and Dominique Casimir, VP Real Estate and Facilities, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.
Historically, the mentorship program has been structured so that participating mentees were paired with an industry veteran through the ULI network. Ideally, this mentor would have a career path that is aligned with the professional aspirations and interests of the mentee. This year, the YLG Mentorship Committee along with Clayton Mitchell and other DEI Advisors, were tasked with adapting the program to today’s socially distant world, while providing participants with the same value that is fostered from building a personal relationship with their mentor. The series was formulated into four separate virtual meetings to take place every Friday morning in March.
The first three sessions highlighted a different guest speaker who, in order, discussed the “Why”, “What” and “How” of mentoring, touching on various topics like how to utilize the mentor/mentee relationship in growing a network, identifying and attaining goals, analyzing mentorship vs. sponsorship and understanding how to foster a diverse generation of future leaders. The final gathering was organized with multiple breakout rooms where mentees were given the opportunity to express their career goals and ask for guidance among various mentors of all different disciplines.
Based on feedback from participants, the new structure was well received and proved both educational and valuable for connecting in a virtual world. Productive guidance was provided on the interworking’s of the mentor/mentee relationship for the mentee, while providing informative direction for our mentors can connect with mentees. Rather than having one singular pairing, mentee’s gained significant exposure to almost all the participating mentors, in addition to the opportunity to gain insight from their peers. This year’s forum provided an ongoing opportunity to share and discuss industry-specific topics with a group of peers and professionals. It is a yet another good example of the educational and networking benefits available through a ULI membership. The successes that stemmed this year’s event are sure to shape the way the program functions moving forward.
Contributed by RJ Kline, Financial Analyst, Brandywine Realty Trust and organizing member of the Young Leaders Group.