Ana Dumitrache, CTP Romania: ED&I increases creativity and innovation within teams
The built world can be designed in such a way to foster inclusivity and shaping an environment which gives people more opportunities to mix, companies can improve social integration, says Ana Dumitrache, CEO of CTP Romania. She also believes that ED&I has to be at the core of how a company is run – CTP Romania, for example, is close to an equal ratio of men and women in the workplace. Read below an exclusive RDCC interview with the female leader of Romania’s largest real estate developer.
How would you define ED&I? What does it mean to you?
Ana Dumitrache: I love a quote that explains it best, “Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party, equity means that everyone gets to contribute to the playlist and inclusion means that everyone has the opportunity to dance.” In my view, ED&I matters a lot to business performance as it increases creativity and innovation within teams!
Can you share some of the ED&I practices implemented within CTP Romania and how have they benefited the organisation?
Ana Dumitrache: The logistic real estate sector has long held a reputation for a lack of diversity. However, in recent years this has started to change, and this can be seen in full at CTP Romania. The ratio of men vs women in our company is almost equal: 53% men, 47% women. Another important thing is that our company culture reward performance regardless of gender. As a result, we have an above average talent retention rate, another thing we pride ourselves on. All this has actively contributed to CTP Romania’s position as market leader, which we achieved in 2017 and which we are strengthening year after year.
Did you witness any changes to ED&I practices as a result of the pandemic?
Ana Dumitrache: There isn’t a company out there that isn’t looking at ED&I as a priority now. I think the pandemic helped us understand that having a variety of different skill sets makes a company better equipped to be more profitable.
In what way have they broadened inclusion? Have you been able to continue those practices?
Ana Dumitrache: All the organisations, ours included, that already had a focus on diversity were able to pivot more quickly and function more successfully because they already had so many of the necessities built into their infrastructure to operate in a COVID environment. Now we’re reaping the rewards, so to speak, the 100 people working in CTP Romania covering operations ranging from finance to project management and construction, through leasing, M&A and property management, always with a focus on business development.
In what way does ED&I influence the design of developments & buildings?
Ana Dumitrache: In my opinion, the built environment can exclude groups and create new inequalities if it is not designed and managed in an inclusive way. This means how we design our parks is vital to creating a more equal, safe place for our tenants and their employees to work. By shaping an environment which gives people more opportunities to mix, we can improve social integration, which will only make our parks appeal to potential tenants stronger.
This is the reason why we introduced in Romania the Clubhouse concept, a multi-functional center where our tenants and their employees have at their disposal restaurant, café, meeting rooms, amphitheater, medical office, mini-market, but also barbecue and leisure places.
Although all our buildings are BREEAM certified from “Very Well” upwards, the Clubhouse, situated in CTPark Bucharest West, is our only building that can boast BREEAM “Outstanding” certification.
We are very proud of this certification and will expand the Clubhouse network in as many of our parks as possible.
Can you tell us about some of the challenges you have faced regarding diversity and inclusion and how you have overcome them?
Ana Dumitrache: I have to admit that, from this point of view, I haven’t had too many challenges. For Remon Vos, the owner of CTP Group, it didn’t matter for a second that I am a woman, but that I am the right person to lead this company and to achieve the success that CTP Romania fully deserves.
Compared with other countries in Eastern Europe, how do you think Romania has progressed on ED&I?
Ana Dumitrache: From the information I have, in the industry in which I work the figures don’t look very good in any of the countries in the region. It is interesting to note, however, that the area in which Romania is doing worst is the number of women in C-level positions. No doubt, here we still have a lot of work to do!
How can we ensure all Romanian regions catch up to those already demonstrating greater diversity?
Ana Dumitrache: I think there is a inextricable link between the economic conditions and the social exclusions that people experience. Consequently, I find it hard to believe that there is much chance of solving social inequalities until we solve economic ones.