Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion in Commercial Real Estate
The recent killing of George Floyd and countless other examples of racial violence against the Black community have pushed us to take a closer look at our own operations and resolve to do better regarding diversity in the workplace. We acknowledge that our firm, and our industry at large, has a long-lasting diversity problem. In the past weeks, we’ve held company meetings to discuss the source of the problem and lay out the action items we need to put in place to work towards a solution.
We opted to share our action items publicly because we don't want our silence to be interpreted as indifference. We want to make it clear to present and future employees, partners, and clients that we are committed to creating a more equitable future for our firm and our industry. We believe Black Lives Matter and deserve a stronger voice in our industry - as do women and other People of Color who have also been poorly represented. We recognize that the true impact of our commitment won’t be measured through one post, but rather the progress we make in the coming years. We promise to be transparent about our progress and share what we learn in hopes that others in and outside our industry may benefit. Outlined below are our four key focus areas:
Our main priority always has been, and always will be, to create an environment where anyone who joins our team can thrive. We recognize that a critical component of that effort is education; Most of us will never know the challenges that Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color experience regularly, but we are committed to listening and engaging in the difficult but important conversations we need to have in order to grow as a community, company, and individuals.
We’ve compiled a library of anti-racism and diversity resources for our team and will hold on-going, company-wide diversity training so we can learn to recognize and address blind spots that could hinder our goal.
One of our biggest undertakings will be to evaluate and revise the historical recruitment practices that have contributed to the lack of diversity in our industry. Commercial real estate is a relationship business. Recruitment and deals are often initiated through references from life-long clients and friends. While we cherish this aspect of our industry, we recognize that in order to increase diversity, we need to be intentional about creating new relationships outside our existing groups.
Our new recruitment efforts will include partnering with college organizations to promote our industry to future professionals, being active in organizations that are already doing amazing work around diversity in our industry, and increasing mentorship opportunities within our firm.
This challenge is not unique to our firm. We believe that in order to make lasting and meaningful change, we need to work on solutions as an industry. We resolve to take the conversation outside our own offices. We intend to leverage our relationships and networks to partner with other firms, clients, and existing professional organizations to support each other’s efforts.
We are proud to have a strong, existing effort to support our community We plan to continue to build on this campaign and support additional organizations that are committed to the success of our community as a whole.
Furthermore, the impact of commercial real estate is far-reaching - it has the power to shape communities and build generational wealth. As outlined in our recruitment goal above, a key way to make sure all communities benefit is to diversify our industry so people from all communities play an active role. In addition, a primary marketing goal is to increase our educational content so commercial real estate becomes more accessible to everyone hoping to enjoy the benefits of our industry - from future brokers, entrepreneurs, developers, and investors.
We’ll continually revisit our commitments as a company and of our efforts to keep our work and momentum going.
If you have an interest in commercial real estate, we hope you find a resource and support in our team regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.