DEI Reflections

February 18, 2022

Finding Success by Playing Better in the Sandbox




Welcome back to the DEI Spotlight! We are excited to continue to develop our collective consciousness around diversity issues with you in 2022. 

We hope you were able to join us via Zoom on Feb. 15 for Jamie Beale Howe’s excellent presentation on DE&I entitled: Don’t Just Check the Box: How to Understand DE&I as a Strategy for Success.

Jamie is the CEO and founder of JBH Enterprises, which is a management consultancy focused on diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. She earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Loyola University Maryland and completed Cornell University’s Diversity & Inclusion certification program. She is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment platform. Jamie earned her CCIM, CPM and RPA designations, and she serves as Chair of Programs for the Palm Beach/Treasure Coast Chapter of CREW. 

With this background, Jamie shared insights on her first-hand experience as a Black woman in corporate real estate, and her extensive research into how we can bring inclusion and belonging to the workplace. 

If you missed her hour-long talk, Jamie broke down the DE&I acronym into its foundational pieces – the who, what and how of fostering intercultural competence and a culture of psychological safety in the workplace. She explained how a commitment to deep learning about different cultures (our own included!) is what leads to true inclusion, because it challenges the default assimilation that can erase identity. She defined culture as a pattern of behavior, and she reminded us that it encompasses so much more than racial identity such as age, value systems, ability level, politics and religious practices. 

Jamie provided concrete actions we can implement in our organization, even if we are not yet “C-Suite” employees. For example, we can model authenticity in our relationships with our colleagues, appoint a “candor” officer for team meetings whose job it is to call out instances of microaggressions in real time, hire vendors and suppliers with intent, and conduct informal “equity audits” to measure how our company’s policies on promotion and salary meet the relevant benchmarks.

Jamie’s talk was relatable and fun, and it taught us how to better “play in the sandbox” – even when we think we have done a decent job of handing out the invitations to the park.

For information on Jamie, please see https://jbh.enterprises/

Please mark your calendar for our next DE&I event on March 30: CREW MOVIE NIGHT!  We hope to see you there.

Finally, in honor of Black History Month and our continuing commitment to DE&I, we leave you with a timely quote by Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Bayard Rustin: We are all one – and if we don’t know it, we’ll learn it the hard way.

Thanks for your dedication to making CREW-St. Louis the best it can be!

~CREW-St. Louis DEI Committee