CREW Network Launches CRE Pledge for Action to Advance Women and DEI in Commercial Real Estate

September 29, 2021
Written by: CREW Network

Lawrence, Kansas, USA (September 30, 2021) – CREW Network has launched the CRE Pledge for Action, an industry-first, CEO-driven initiative that is designed to advance women, and elevate actions that encourage greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the commercial real estate industry. More than 15 CEOs from leading commercial real estate (CRE) industry companies have already made a commitment. By signing on, these progressive business leaders are pledging to take action and hold themselves and their employees responsible for implementing initiatives that advance women and DEI.

“The CREW Network CRE Pledge for Action is a relevant, meaningful and actionable initiative that aligns well with the significant transformation currently underway globally,” said Wendy Mann, CREW Network CEO. “CEOs from leading commercial real estate companies understand they must be proactive and quickly act to address this fundamental issue in the workplace. CREW Network applauds those who’ve joined with us already, and we encourage and urge more firms across the CRE industry to be a part of this ground-breaking initiative.”

CRE Pledge for Action CEO Signatories

  1. Holly Neber – AEI Consultants
  2. Mark Rose – Avison Young
  3. Sonny Kalsi – BentallGreenOak
  4. Ric Campo – Camden
  5. Bob Sulentic – CBRE
  6. Gil Borok (U.S.) and Brian Rosen (Canada) – Colliers
  7. Barbi Reuter – Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR
  8. Michael Nolan – Fidelity National Financial
  9. Dennis Gilmore – First American Title Insurance Company
  10. Eric Frank – LightBox
  11. David Taylor – Locke Lord 
  12. Angela Mago – KeyBank
  13. Jonathan Gitlin – RioCan
  14. Peter Miller - Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  15. Pam Scamardo – TPK Properties and The C.R.E.A.T.E. Wealth Network 
  16. Larry Heard – Transwestern

A growing body of research reveals that stronger business outcomes directly correlate with diverse teams and inclusive workplaces. However, commercial real estate, an industry serving many diverse populations, has a workforce that remains predominately male and white. According to CREW Network, the leading producer of research on gender and diversity in commercial real estate, very little progress has been made in the last five years.

In commercial real estate, the COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges for women and stalled their progress in the industry. Yet it also presented new opportunities to change the industry culture and remove persistent workplace barriers. CREW Network’s latest industry research paper, A Catalyst for Change: COVID-19’s Impact on Women in Commercial Real Estate, examined the pandemic’s impact on women globally and in the industry, especially women of color.

The following insights were taken from CREW Network’s July 2021 survey of 1,018 commercial real estate professionals across more than 25 specializations and more than 10 sectors in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada:

  • 54% said they missed out on deals
  • 23% said compensation decreased
  • 78% said they were forced to leave jobs
  • 38% believe the pandemic stalled progress for women
  • 50% said their career priorities have changed
  • 70% of companies created new employee work policies as a result of the pandemic

The 2020 CREW Network Benchmark Study: Gender and Diversity in Commercial Real Estate, conducted in partnership with the MIT Center for Real Estate, had found that:

  • Women earn 10% less than men in base salaries and 56% less in commission and bonuses annually
  • Women occupy 37% of the industry
  • Women hold just 9% of C-suite positions
  • Only 16% of CRE workplaces have 25% or more staff that are from diverse backgrounds

Understanding these disparities and the lack of progress for women and all forms of diversity in commercial real estate, CREW Network is asking pledge signatories to take action, and in turn, improve performance, drive growth, and enhance employee engagement. The pledge supports the advancement of women and other individuals in underrepresented groups including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and age. Each signatory has committed to adopt the following six goals:

  1. Partner with CREW Network to support our mission to transform the industry by advancing women and begin your efforts now to make change.
  2. Close the compensation gap in our industry by conducting a pay equity study in your company.
  3. Increase inclusion in your company through senior executive sponsorship of women and/or other individuals in underrepresented groups within the company.
  4. Advance women to your company’s top roles to achieve gender diversity in leadership.
  5. Increase diversity in your company and in the industry through intentional recruiting and hiring of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  6. Implement accountability strategies in your company to measure progress.

“These are intentional, meaningful and measurable goals that will have lasting impacts on the industry. By committing to this pledge, CEOs are taking the steps necessary to drive change, and demonstrating that leadership and accountability start at the top,” said Mann. “For the commercial real estate industry to become gender balanced and more diverse, we need the hundreds of CEOs in this industry to commit to diversity.”

The CRE Pledge for Action is a step toward advancing women and DEI in the commercial real estate industry. Every CEO in the commercial real estate industry is encouraged to sign on and commit to real change. Visit the pledge landing page to learn more about this effort.

Media contacts:
Laura Lewis
Chief Communications Officer, CREW Network
LauraL@crewnetwork.org

Connect Media
Jennifer Little
jlittle@connectcre.com


About CREW Network

CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network is the premier business network dedicated to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally. CREW Network members comprise nearly 12,000 professionals in 75+ markets worldwide and represent all disciplines of commercial real estate.