Balance Drives Better Decision Making: Diversity and Gender Equity at Investment Management Organizations

By Heather Lewis, Chief Compliance Officer and Jeanna Mackin, Associate Director of Human Resources

August 9, 2023

Over the past several years, there’s been much discussion surrounding corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). This could refer to a range of initiatives, activities, and policies, such as the development of specific mandates to create a highly diverse workforce or forming internal DEI groups and specific company training programs.

It is also often representative of a cultural commitment to embracing varied perspectives and encouraging employee education and appreciation surrounding backgrounds different from their own.

At Kairos, we’re highly dedicated to DEI and gender equity. As a minority-owned business operating in a predominantly white, male real estate and investment management industries, it’s an essential part of our corporate DNA.

In fact, Kairos’ current workforce is made up of 49% diverse ethnicities with a gender allocation of 51% female and 49% male. In leadership positions, Kairos boasts 60% of females and 38% of males from diverse ethnicities.

It is through an intentional, steadfast commitment to identifying and growing diverse talent that we’ve achieved the success we have. But there is no endgame in diversity and equity—it is a living, breathing, ever-evolving component of our lives and business practices.

The Resounding Benefits of Equity

The first thing that might come to mind when envisioning a diverse, equitable, and inclusive company is typically a multi-ethnic, gender-balanced workforce.

But a genuinely thriving DEI culture goes beyond assembling a team of varying backgrounds and characteristics. It means truly listening to the views and ideas of team members. It means that everyone in that organization has a unique voice due to their background, abilities, and experience. A company that pays attention to diversity and gender equity understands that every team member has the right to be heard and that input and opinions are taken seriously.

Incorporating DEI practices isn’t just a fair and nice thing to do. It makes good logic and business sense to ensure representation of the real world—which in turn reflects our investors, partners, tenants, and others impacted by our business—in our teams. It fosters understanding, reduces uncertainty and lays the groundwork for more creative, solutions-focused thinking. Equity embraces different perspectives and backgrounds—a diverse, robust team of members with various perspectives and experiences leads to better ideas and decisions for our operations and investors.

Further, as an investor and operator of real estate that includes housing, retail, and other properties in neighborhoods that primarily serve ethnic minorities, diversity further allows Kairos to use its experience and knowledge to relate to different communities in which the company does business.

Building a Diverse, Equitable Team Environment

Kairos was founded by our Chief Executive Officer, Carl Chang, on the premise that employees are our foundation—each and every one matters. We believe that everyone deserves a seat at the table, and that diversity brings strength to our teams, organizations, and communities.

As a result, we have always been diligent in taking the time to find team members with the skills, talent, and drive needed for their roles. This is achieved through developing clear job descriptions and a thorough recruitment and onboarding practice.

At some companies, it may be necessary to take a more rigid approach to ensuring specific groups are not underrepresented on the team in order to break long-held status quos. Because of our history, reputation, and the diverse networks we’ve built, we are able to approach diversity and gender equity in hiring through a more or less organic process.

Making Strides on a Continuous Journey

While Kairos has achieved an equitable gender balance and strong minority representation with our current team, we look forward to continuing to bring in different perspectives as our firm grows.

Further, there are areas that we know we can improve. For example, in general terms, the number of women in C-suite leadership roles is very small. According to McKinsey & Company, only one in four C-suite leaders is a woman, and only one in 20 is a woman of color. When it comes to investment management companies, the percentage of women holding leadership positions is a little higher, but it doesn’t match the percentage of women in the workforce.

We are proud that our Leadership and Management team, which is 43% female and 48% ethnically diverse, includes individuals of unique perspectives and backgrounds. That said, we see diversity as a continuous journey for our firm, as well as an opportunity to influence change throughout the rest of our industry.


For questions, contact investor relations at or 949-800-8500.

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