Cushman & Wakefield is honored to announce Dane Hites as the 2019 recipient of the Human Rights Campaign Chicago Corporate Champion for Equality Award. This is the first time the Human Rights Campaign has given such an award. Dane engages across all departments, regions and management levels to ensure Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives foster a diverse workplace that reflects our clients, creates more opportunities for innovation and helps us better understand markets on local and global levels.
Dane, Technology Solutions Analyst, Global Technology Solutions, is a founding member and Secretary of UNITY, an employee resource group (ERG) for LGBTQ+ employees, which launched nationally in 2018 and now has multiple chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Dane helped launch the Chicago chapter with a Valentine’s Day “I Love That” event, which attracted more than 500 employees and educated them on the importance of UNITY and all of our ERGs, fostering improved collaboration and learning opportunities for growth within the Chicago market.
Dane was critical in strengthening employee and management training around LGBTQ+ diversity in the workplace. He implemented preferred gender pronouns in corporate email signatures across our global platform, making Cushman & Wakefield one of the first firms to do so in the commercial real estate industry. He partnered with HR to add self-identification options to onboarding materials and created data sets around our LGBTQ+ employee base, which has driven new initiatives and efforts to better support those who identify as LGBTQ+. These efforts earned Cushman & Wakefield recognition as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality and a perfect score of 100 on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index, a proud accomplishment in the firm’s first year applying. This year, UNITY will launch an ally playbook with additional materials and programming to strengthen all employees’ commitment to inclusion.
Dane ties the work he’s doing within Cushman & Wakefield to the broader community. He partners with other LGBTQ+ organizations, attends talent and acquisition events as a UNITY representative, participates in the Out and Equal Conference, and serves as an ally and champion of transgender rights. To celebrate Pride Month, Dane curated content for a UNITY-dedicated webpage with an interactive timeline of key events in LGBTQ+ history as well as blog posts and links to the firm’s social channels. He also organized Chicago UNITY’s inaugural participation in the 2019 Pride Parade and was the team “cheer squad captain” for Proud to Run 2019.