Our founder Julie Kimble was recently honored with the Disruptor of the Year award from NAWBO – MN (National Association of Women Business Owners). The award recognizes a woman business owner who operates in a typically male-dominated industry and challenges the status-quo. One who is a pioneer that breaks down barriers for women in her industry and broadens opportunities for future women business owners.
In a way, it’s interesting that this award still exists. According to American Express research on women-owned businesses, “The number of women-owned businesses increased a dramatic 31 times between 1972 and 2018, rising from 402,000 (4.6% of all firms) in 1972 to 12.3 million (40% of all firms) in 2018.” So, there are a lot of women business owners and yet there are so many industries in which women are still considered disruptive; where a diversity gap exists and where barriers of pay parity, access to capital and other challenges are still unique to women.
Why is diversity so important? A blog post recently written by AMP Global Youth resonates with our beliefs and sums up the five important factors on the importance of diversity:
Productivity – the opportunity to consider multiple approaches that increases productivity outcomes
Becoming a world citizen – leveraging cultural experience
Perspective - diverse thinking has the opportunity for a broader and richer outcome
Growing acceptance, diminishing discrimination – embracing and valuing differences
Richer life experience – what could be better than deepening personal and work lives outcomes than the unique experiences of others?
Our team is fortunate to have worked globally in over 30 countries and so we understand the benefits of diversity firsthand. There is nothing like a global team to reinforce that outcomes are richer with diversity of thought and culture and experience in the mix! Not to mention the valued relationships we have all over the world which brings joy to our lives.
Even diverse work experience can enrich a person or a business and increase value for services to our clients. Our company is very entrepreneurial, but the overall career experience of our team includes working for family businesses, public organizations and Fortune 100 companies. We leverage this experience and knowledge gained and apply it to effectively run our business and enhance strategies to meet our clients’ needs.
KimbleCo is a full-service commercial real estate firm and so we are a part of the ongoing progress in our industry’s diversity statistics. According to CREW Network research, the number of women in our industry is growing but we still have some challenges to overcome; today only 32% of real estate developers are women and their male developer counterparts make 25.9% more in compensation. Only 29% of commercial real estate brokers are women and their male counterparts make 33.8% more money. KimbleCo provides both of those services and we hope we are enriching outcomes with our experience and perspective and making a positive impact on diversity going forward. Our industry is also working hard to encourage and improve diversity beyond gender which is so very important.
Our hope is that diversity is more than a “check the box” action for companies and that the real value of new perspectives and different life experiences is embraced, enhancing our personal and work lives, deepening relationships and bringing the world and its people closer together.