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DEI warning signs on retention of women and POC

Global Real Estate DEI Survey

Virtual Q&A, Feb 7, 2024

While DEI initiatives are more important for real estate firms today than just one year ago, DEI is facing a deprioritization within real estate investment organizations.

That was the key takeaway from the virtual meeting hosted today by NAREIM and 18 fellow CRE associations to review the results of the Global Real Estate DEI Survey, released three weeks ago.

NAREIM members - along with Ferguson Partners and members from the associations REALPAC, BPF, AREF, OSCRE, CoreNet Global, NCREIF, BOMA, RICS and CREFC - discussed the drivers behind the deprioritization, including market conditions, DEI fatigue, a return to office. 

Key highlights from the conversation included:

  • There are warning signs about the ability to retain women and people of color in the US at the executive management, mid-level and junior level with YoY departure rates higher than each group's employee population size. 

  • The same trend is happening for men in Canada, with men at the senior-level departing at a significantly higher rate than their employee population size. 

  • The Survey results revealed an increased focus on firms creating scholarships and internships for underrepresented groups, however members were told that without inclusive leadership and regular DEI training, the CRE industry may continue to see elevated levels of departures among employees, irrespective of gender and ethnicity.

  • Members discussed the need for DEI to be part of the organizational infrastructure of firms to be successful - it's not a moment in time issue and can only succeed with hard conversations about the nuances of DEI, inclusion and a need to create a sense of belonging within firms - for all employees.

  • The results of the Global RE DEI Survey show an industry continuing to promote DEI, but with warning signs about employee retention and a need for a call to action in relation to inclusivity. 


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