In the summer of 2020, Bixby Land Company formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee in response to the heightened awareness of racial injustice and outcry for equality. The purpose of the committee is to take immediate action and cause positive change in the organization, industry and community. Diversity has always been of great importance at Bixby Land Company, and creating a dedicated committee allows the company to set measurable goals and evaluate progress. “All employees are encouraged to join the DEI committee and contribute their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. It is Bixby’s strong belief that welcoming varying perspectives makes a stronger impact and creates better connections within our company and community,” says Suki Swaroop, Director of Administration and Transactions.
Granting space for diversity supports individuality and nurtures a broader range of skill sets. Lexi Geiger, Director of Acquisitions says that “by hiring people with different backgrounds, we are able to draw on our employees’ unique experiences, which helps us think differently to develop innovative solutions.” It is important to provide a safe space where individuals are granted equal opportunities and encouraged to share their experiences and perspectives. Fostering an inclusive environment enables varied backgrounds to flourish within the company and the community.
In 2021, the DEI committee will support a variety of causes from food insecurity, to assisting victims of domestic violence and those directly impacted by the economic downturn. “The Company is focused on quarterly charitable contributions and volunteer efforts in the communities in which we work and live,” says Debbie Heinze, Executive Assistant to the CEO/President and Marketing Manager. “We also provide employees opportunities to enhance their personal and professional growth by offering professional development, mindful meditation classes, as well as team-building activities.”
When employees feel welcomed and heard, they are more satisfied within their roles and work environment. The DEI committee regularly solicits employee feedback to ensure that it is providing the support and services to create a safe space for communication and concerns. “Creating a DEI committee allows employees to feel like they are part of a company that cares about more than just the bottom line.” Nereida Bahena, Senior Property Accountant says that “as employees, we are part of a bigger picture, and knowing that the picture involves helping our community enhances our sense of belonging.”
As part of building upon its legacy for nearly 125 years, Bixby Land Company continues to provide exceptional value and create a positive impact in the communities it serves. Watch our video here.