Keller Williams has been named by Forbes as part of America’s Best Employers for Diversity 2021. The recognition comes after Forbes’ inclusion of Keller Williams in last year’s ranking for diversity.
Now in its fourth year, Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Diversity ranking is based on an independent survey of more than 50,000 employees across the United States. Respondents were asked questions regarding topics of age, gender equality, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQA+, and general diversity concerning their own employer. The recognition adds to a growing list of awards for Keller Williams in areas of company culture. Since the start of the year, the company has been named among the Best Largest Employers (Forbes), Best Places to Work (Glassdoor) and in 2020 ranked sixth on Forbes’ Top Employers for Women list.
“We are extremely honored to be recognized in this manner, and in such great company,” says VP of People Leslie Vander Gheynst. “At Keller Williams, we are constantly putting diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of the conversation, and while the work never stops, this recognition is a great indicator that the steps we are continuously taking are moving in the right direction.”
A Culture Where Diversity Flourishes
At its core, Keller Williams is a mission-driven company, aimed to build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving. With over 180,000 associates worldwide in more than 50 regions, this mission guides Keller Williams across differences in sex, race, color, creed, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status, genetic information, and sexual orientation. Empowering all agents to achieve big lives – while celebrating their differences – guides the decision-making process at every level of the Keller Williams organization.
Achieving a big mission is only possible with every agent and voice represented. With that in mind, the Keller Williams International Associate Leadership Council (IALC) functions at the highest possible level to ensure that agents are at the forefront of company decisions. Through the IALC, agents are able to shape the trajectory of the company by bringing proposals to the floor to be voted on that both protect and enhance the vitality of Keller Williams and its culture. The IALC has played a leading role in landmark company decisions, such as the Keller Williams profit share model, and most recently:
- The amendment of the company’s belief system – the WI4C2TS – to read as WI4C2TES, adding “Equity: opportunities for all.”
- Win-Win: or no deal
- Integrity: do the right thing
- Customers: always come first
- Commitment: in all things
- Communication: seek first to understand
- Creativity: ideas before results
- Teamwork: together everyone achieves more
- Trust: starts with honesty
- Equity: opportunities for all
- Success: results through people
The creation of Keller Williams’ inaugural Social Equity Task Force, a group across KW regions within the United States and Canada focused on creating strategies to uproot racial disparities within Keller Williams and ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for all protected classes within the KW ecosystem.
The creation of the task force is evidence the company has deepened the conversation beyond diversity. It is pushing forward to make progress in areas of equity and inclusion.
A Deepened Commitment to Equity and Inclusion
As part of this commitment, Keller Williams recently announced its partnership with the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the LGBTQ+ community on the path to homeownership and advocating on behalf of the community on housing issues. Alliance National Board of Directors and KW Rainbow Network member and KW agent Dave Gervase shares of the partnership, “KW partnering with the Alliance is important to me because it’s a public statement that KW stands with me against discrimination, bigotry, and hate.”
Looking to the future, Keller Williams leaders and associates are continuously committing to being agents of change within the real estate industry, embracing diversity among their own businesses and supporting equity and fair practices for all clients embarking on their homeownership journey.
Related reading: Building Equity and Doing Good: An Agent’s Quick Guide