Mak­ing sure the cul­ture was in­clu­sive be­fore sign­ing on

Working Mother - - Inclusion Index -

Pa­tri­cia (Trisha) Raicht didn’t have a dra­matic “com­ing out” as a les­bian. Dur­ing a child­hood liv­ing all over the world ( her dad was in the For­eign Ser­vice), she says, “I dis­cov­ered who I was at 13,” when her mother also rec­og­nized Trisha’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. Af­ter a ca­reer in com­mer­cial real es­tate in the Port­land, OR, area, she started talk­ing to global real-es­tate com­pany JLL about a full­time job in 2011. The peo­ple in the lo­cal of­fice knew she was a les­bian mom, but she wanted to en­sure that the cor­po­rate lead­ers with whom she would be work­ing were also in­clu­sive.

“I re­ally wanted to work for a global com­pany be­cause I wanted to have op­por­tu­ni­ties be­yond my mar­ket with po­ten­tial for work in other coun­tries as my ca­reer pro­gressed. I also wanted to work for a firm that was eth­i­cal and of­fered op­por­tu­ni­ties for all kinds of peo­ple. I didn’t want my abil­ity to be my au­then­tic self to be lim­ited to my home of­fice. I in­ter­viewed with peo­ple in San Fran­cisco, D.C. and Chicago—and they all were very clear about the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to in­clu­sion and equal­ity,” she says.

Dur­ing the in­ter­views with peo­ple she hadn’t met be­fore, she didn’t dis­close her ori­en­ta­tion. But when they told her about their ERGs, in­clud­ing their LGBTQ group, she had a pos­i­tive feel­ing. “I was im­pressed they knew the al­pha­bet soup of LGBTQ back then ... the more you can be your au­then­tic self, the more you can con­trib­ute,” she says.

She is very open at work these days. “I moved in and put up my pic­tures of my kids and my wife. I’m one of those par­ents. I al­ways talk about my kids (daugh­ters Sprout, 20, and Halle, 12).”

To­day, she acts as an am­bas­sador for Build­ing Pride, the LGBTQ ERG, help­ing prospec­tive and cur­rent em­ploy­ees learn how in­clu­sive JLL is. “We hear again and again that peo­ple want to work some­place where they feel they are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence and can be their own au­then­tic selves. They want to work some­where where they feel their own val­ues are re­spected by the com­pany.”

Pa­tri­cia (Trisha) Raicht

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