- BKM Capital Partners
BKM: A Work Culture Built on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
April 12, 2022 – BKM Capital Partners’ CEO, Brian Malliet, signed the CREW Network Pledge for Action in October 2021. That commitment reflects BKM’s overarching efforts to create a workplace that supports the advancement of women and other individuals in underrepresented groups. Based in Newport Beach, CA, BKM is one of the only institutional fund managers that focuses exclusively on multi-use logistics and small to mid-bay light industrial assets in the Western U.S. A vertically-integrated fund manager, BKM continues to bolster its DEI strategy by improving policies, practices, and accountability by implementing diverse recruitment efforts, adopting new internal DEI policies and programs, and instituting external vendor diversity initiatives.
BKM is acutely focused on creating a diverse and inclusive place for people to work that is equitable for all. BKM adjusted its operational practices to enhance staff well-being and satisfaction following the pandemic-induced challenges. The diverse backgrounds of BKM’s leadership and employees strengthen the company’s ability to deliver success. By creating and fostering a culture of collaboration and embracing different perspectives, BKM achieved greater performance and portfolio success.
BKM instituted a committee to ensure integration and monitoring of DEI principles in its everyday business practices to build a strong and inclusive workforce. In addition to tracking employee demographics, the company strives for a diverse tenant base of women and minority-owned businesses and an equally diverse range of vendors and contractors. The efforts to promote DEI are paying off. As of December 31, 2021, 55% of BKM’s employees are female, and 33% of BKM employees identify as BIPOC, with overall employee diversity at 72%. Its leadership team is 25% female, and 30% identify as BIPOC, with an overall diversity of 50%. These statistics place BKM well above industry averages according to the 2021 NAREIM-Ferguson Partners Diversity & Inclusion Survey.
Since making the CREW Network DEI pledge, BKM has incorporated many of the practices recommended by the organization, which are helping to transform the CRE industry by advancing women.
BKM has been working hard to close the compensation gap. These efforts began with company-wide salary adjustments following a comprehensive compensation review process. Additionally, an independent compensation study is slated to be completed in 2022 to identify and address any pay gaps by gender or other bias.
To increase inclusion at BKM, senior executives have sponsored women and/or other individuals in underrepresented groups within the company. BKM created a Women’s Network in Q1 2022 and will hold its first meeting in April. They have also expanded their training and mentorship programs, including a Leadership Development & Coaching Program that features group training and one-on-one coaching, and created an Emerging Leaders Program designed to promote younger talent.
BKM has promoted and appointed several women to leadership, including appointing Susan Rounds as Managing Director of Operations and member of the Executive Committee; promoting Caroline Kase to Director of Property Management; Emily Pollard to Director of Marketing & Communications, and Koren Hwang to Associate Director of Design. BKM is committed to making additional moves to further increase the roles and responsibilities women have within the company.
BKM is intentionally working to recruit and hire individuals from diverse backgrounds to increase diversity at the company and in the industry. The company partnered with SEO (Sponsor’s for Educational Opportunity) who, recruits and trains high-achieving Black, Latino, and Native American college students for challenging summer internships, and delivers a comprehensive program that integrates year-round, holistic professional mentorship and a consistent network of support through high school and post-secondary years. This partnership allows BKM to reach top candidates from underrepresented communities as a source for talent and develop the next generation of diverse leaders. BKM also provides training for hiring managers and ensures recruiters understand BKM’s deep commitment to DEI. Additionally, BKM tracks and measures progress towards diversity targets.
The DEI accountability strategies implemented at BKM started with forming a DEI sub-committee and creating a formalized policy. Those anchors are supported by a host of efforts designed to ensure the company, its teams, and external partners have the tools, information, and resources needed to affect real change. BKM delivered bias training to the entire company in December 2021, will provide Allyship Training in Q2 2022, and continuously expands its training curriculum. BKM also conducts an Annual DEI survey and will release its inaugural Annual DEI Report later this year, guiding future improvements and promoting transparency in its practices.
The importance of DEI has also been reinforced by rewriting BKM’s code of conduct and core values as a company so all employees have equal opportunity to be heard and shape BKM’s culture. BKM’s website is being updated to be transparent with DEI performance information and to include DEI initiatives as part of the storyline of BKM’s corporate workplace culture.
These efforts are designed and envisioned to create a work culture at BKM that welcomes and adopts best DEI practices. The company has already seen positive results from its acute focus to make sure it offers a work environment that appeals to the best talent, promotes collaboration across teams, and supports the advancement of women and other individuals in underrepresented groups in the CRE industry.