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Associations back property business diversity survey

[Image: Timon Studler/Unsplash.]

Seven international property industry associations are backing this year’s Global Real Estate DEI Survey, the basis of a benchmark of diversity, equity and inclusion metrics in the real estate sector. The survey commenced yesterday (8 September) and will remain open for submissions until 22 October.

ANREV, INREV, NAREIM, NCREIF, PREA, REALPAC and ULI are supporting the Global Real Estate DEI Survey, which is intended to provide a corporate benchmark of gender, ethnicity and nationality across seniority and job functions in the commercial real estate business worldwide.

Ferguson Partners is conducting the survey and the final results will be released in December.

The Global Real Estate DEI Survey was created in 2017 as part of an annual compensation study by NAREIM and Ferguson but was launched as a dedicated survey in 2020. The survey provides employee demographic and best practice metrics for Asia, Europe and North America.

The forthcoming version of the survey has wider scope geographically and in terms of the types of commercial real estate firms tracked. It will include all players within the CRE asset class, from institutional investors to real estate investment managers, architects, developers and operating partners, service providers and consultants.

Wider scope reflects change of industry’s priorities

The survey has been expanded in response to the growing prioritisation of DEI within commercial real estate organisations and their need to benchmark their own DEI policies and that of partners and suppliers.

Ferguson Partners managing director Erin Green commented: “Having a holistic and thoughtful approach to DEI is an essential component of an effective human capital management strategy.”

The survey tracks DEI program structure, resources and ownership; policies focused on recruitment, retention, training and development, inclusivity, tracking and accountability and pay equity; employee demographics by gender, ethnicity and nationality, across seniority and job function, as well as hiring, promotion and departure trends.

The Survey results will be presented at a regional level and by type of firm to ensure the ability of participants to compare themselves on a peer-to-peer basis.

INREV CEO Lonneke Löwik.

The 2020 DEI Survey was completed by 74 property investment managers representing more than $2 trillion AUM and 20,000 full-time employees, indicated that the majority of real estate investment management firms were prioritising DEI and also revealed that while women and minority professionals at the most senior levels, they still comprised just 15% of positions (from 12% in 2017).

“The expansion of the Global Real Estate DEI Survey marks a truly positive step for the industry. As the first of its kind, this benchmark will undoubtedly spur positive changes that have been long due within the industry,” commented INREV CEO Lonneke Löwik.

But she added, “While the work put into the creation of this benchmark has been admirable, the job is far from complete. As diversity and inclusion continues to rise in importance across Europe, it will be essential for European organisations to look beyond their own borders for examples of global businesses that are championing diversity and inclusion. We can, and must, learn from one another to take further steps toward the development of best practices and standards that will gradually lead us to a more diverse and inclusive industry.”