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At NAI Global, Our Untiring Commitment to DEI is Deeply Rooted in Our Professionals and Employees

NAI Global | June 21, 2023

NAI Global’s 2023 Diversity Update

NAI Global started its commitment to diversity and parity in 2019 when it formally launched a Women’s Alliance Council to promote, support and serve women in the commercial real estate industry. Part of the Council’s work included exploring and discussing diversity, equity and inclusion to attract an even wider qualified audience to the CRE industry, and that led to establishing a separate DEI Council in the second half of 2021, when the decision was made to budget for the development of a full DEI program.

In early 2022 the company hired a DEI consultant, Toni Navy, to facilitate the development of a strategic plan with the DEI Council. The project started with a company-wide survey on the state and status of DEI practices throughout company offices and later, a report on the survey’s findings. Throughout the year, the council and its consultant created the company’s DEI toolkit and took proactive measures to implement a DEI program throughout its membership-based network of companies, which is comprised of approximately 185 independently owned commercial real estate firms with over 300 offices worldwide and more than 5,100 professionals.

NAI Global’s DEI Toolkit includes best practices for CRE, Hiring Best Practices and more for NAI’s Principals, Directors and Managers. Additional steps included:

  • Formally adopted a DEI program as part of its corporate policy.

  • Established a DEI-focused, monthly newsletter.

  • Created a new monthly diversity calendar.

  • Corporately partnered with an online learning system to provide additional, optional training to corporate employees, some of which included DEI in the Workplace as well an introduction to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance).

  • Held three DEI-focused and in-person panel discussions for NAI Professionals at the 2022 and 2023 NAI Global Convention and the 2022 NAI Leadership Summit.

  • Held one DEI-focused and in-person workshop for the NAI Principals, Directors and Managers at the 2023 NAI Global Convention that focused on implementing its DEI strategic plan with their fellow leadership teams.

  • Launched the DEI Council that is open to all members of NAI Global who share a passion in making he CRE industry more inclusive and equitable.

  • Sponsored REEC (Real Estate Executive Council) and Diversity in CRE conferences in 2021 and 2022.

  • Raised over $10,000 through sponsorship programs at annual events to support networking opportunities and scholarships for those who are part of the DEI Council and just starting their careers.

In 2023, NAI Global started the second phase of its DEI program, with a focus on identifying people from under-represented communities and colleges and introducing career paths in commercial real estate to these audiences.

As a preliminary step toward recruiting professionals from diverse backgrounds, through surveys we have discovered that many NAI Global offices are also taking steps to actively recruit candidates from diverse talent pools, including historically underrepresented groups. This can include partnering with organizations that serve underrepresented groups or attending career fairs and events that focus on attracting diverse candidates.

Throughout the U.S., NAI leaders have approached diversity hiring with various best practices. Some offices have partnered with colleges and organizations to educate students on opportunities within the NAI Global family and CRE industry. Others have leveraged internships to induct more women and people of color into our firms and provide a career path in CRE at NAI long-term.

While the work on its second phases is only in the planning stages, we know it will include a cornerstone of what has worked well so far in the CRE industry for onboarding and integrating young professionals, and that is to establish formal mentoring programs. Mentoring is one of the most commonly referenced words from the CREW Network in terms of career development and training, and NAI Global could not agree more to the importance of mentoring, and its principles, which also includes reverse mentoring, a scenario in which young professionals teach and share knowledge and best practices with more senior professionals.

NAI Global’s Corporate Leadership Team, of which more than 50% are women, and its Corporate Advisory Board and Committee Chairs, are pleased with the company’s DEI efforts to date and are fully committed to continue on the path the company has chosen. The leadership team strongly believes that a more diverse and equitable workforce is a better and stronger work force that will help builder stronger connections and communities, and advance society as a whole and our collective ways of living.