CHICAGO—Locally-based national commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield reports it has launched the company’s Asian and Pacific Islander employee resource group.
The new employee resource group— Asians and Pacific Islanders in Real Estate (ASPIRE)—is geared at recruiting, developing and retaining Asian and Pacific Islander employees. The new group is one of seven such groups at Cushman & Wakefield that are comprised of employees linked by social factors such as culture, gender, sexual orientation, or by a common interest or goal within an organization. These employee-led groups foster diverse and inclusive workplaces aligned with the firm’s values, objectives, and business practices, the company states.
ASPIRE aims to celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islander culture by building a global community that is committed to the advancement and development of its members while serving as champions of diversity and inclusion, C&W states.
“Employee resource groups are an important part of who we are at Cushman & Wakefield and they serve as an invaluable resource to company leadership for recruiting, developing, and retaining diverse talent,” says Kalani Reelitz, CFO for the Americas who also serves as ASPIRE’s executive sponsor.
Co-founders Annie Canada and Hanna Kim Yoon, who are based in Cushman & Wakefield’s Los Angeles office, will serve as co-chairs of the ASPIRE national leadership council.
“To aspire is to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal,” says Kim Yoon. “Our goal is to support members in their professional growth by cultivating educational programs, establishing networking opportunities, and by recognizing their contributions to the commercial real estate industry.”
“It is integral to build a workplace culture that reflects the world we live in,” adds Canada. “And we’re not just trying to reflect the world—we want to actively give back and make it better. By forming a network of Asian and Pacific Islander peers and allies, we can combine our efforts in supporting local communities through outreach events and philanthropy.”
ASPIRE’s chapters in North America will be organized on a regional level: Angie Espejo and Samantha S. Low in San Francisco will lead the West Region; Jose Artiaga in St. Louis, MO and Ashley Chandler in Vancouver, BC will lead the East Region; and Susan Au and Bruce Kuo in New York will lead the Tri-State Region.