Property industry steps up to meet its social responsibilities

Ayris Scales, senior vice president, social responsibility and global initiatives at the Washington DC-based NAREIT (National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts) says that there is an increasing appetite in the industry to “step up and lean in” on social issues.

She said that firms increasingly understand “the power and the importance that they bring to our economy and to our communities is unprecedented”.

Nareit members increasingly want to be challenged, she said and want more resources and examples of best practices so they can move forward faster. Companies are facing very similar challenges, she also pointed out.

“There’s a lot of attention, commitment and focus on employee retention and engagement, succession planning, thinking about the culture and the values that our members want to put forward,” she said.

But she added that when looking at diversity, equity and inclusion, diversity interpreted uniformly across different regions – America, Japan and Europe, for instance.

“But what remains constant, regardless of race or colour, is gender, socioeconomics, education. Those are things that we’re all looking at in a more collective global perspective.”