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Despite the growing number of studies that link higher business outcomes to inclusive workplaces, the commercial real estate industry still has a predominantly white male workforce. According to CREW, the commercial industry for real estate has made little progress in addressing the needs of women and diversity.

The CEOs include:

  • Wendy Mann is the CEO of CREW Network, which is the premier business network for women in commercial real estate.
  • Larry P. Heard, CEO Head of Transwestern, a commercial real estate firm that provides services such as leasing, investment management, and development.
  • Mark Rose is the CEO of Avison Wright, a worldwide firm that creates social and environmental value through its work.

How Is Diversity Being Established In Your Fields?

Wendy Mann was asked what she was doing as a leader in her field to bring about diversity. The Pledge for Action is a CEO-driven initiative that aims to elevate the status of women in the commercial real estate sector. Fifteen prominent business leaders have already signed on to the program. Mark Rose also insisted that the easiest way of encouraging change in the CRE industry is through honesty and accountability.

At Avison Young, we believe in continuous improvement and are focused on developing a culture and standards that will help our people reach long-term goals. This is why we regularly recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds. According to Larry Heard, at Transwestern, they believe in inclusion and diversity. One of the firm’s guiding principles is mutual respect, which encourages everyone to have their voices heard.

With the country’s population now being 40% female, Transwestern is working hard to find a balance that is representative of the country’s demographic. This is one of the goals of the Young Professionals program, which is aimed at developing a unique group of people who are passionate about commercial real estate.

How Are Fundamental Issues Being Addressed In The Office?

Mann: By following the pledge our company made, we hope to encourage individuals to take action to improve their performance and increase how much employees engage. The 2020 Network Benchmark Study from CREW revealed that women in real estate earn less than men at base income levels, and they are also less likely to be in c-suite positions. This study also found that only 16% of real estate commercial workplaces are filled by people from diverse backgrounds.

Rose: At EY, our D&I strategy is focused on creating a supportive and respectful workplace that is inclusive of all communities we serve and promotes a culture of D&I. Through its comprehensive and thorough diversity and inclusion strategy, Avison Young was able to create a culture of inclusion and diversity within its organization. This strategy included various initiatives such as employee training, an advisory council, and unconscious bias training.

Heard: As an organization that values diversity, Transwestern regularly works to improve how they approach diversity. We wanted to create an initiative that is both top-down and inclusive, so we spoke to people from diverse communities to create a framework to use that focused on specific goals. This newly enlisted initiative is not just about us, but also about our clients and team members. It helps us gather all the relevant perspectives to come up with the best possible solutions.