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Camden: DEI Lives Here - Building Our Future with Intentionality and Commitment

Camden Property Trust

DEI at Camden: A Movement, not a Moment

Camden Property Trust owns and operates 172 apartment communities, providing 58,702 homes and employing over 1650 people within 15 major metropolitan areas across the US. Since its incorporation over 30 years ago, Camden has been an employee-first company. Their mission is to improve the lives of team members, customers, and shareholders, one experience at a time.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are integral to Camden’s past, present, and future. Since 2003, Camden has actively sponsored Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) with leadership at the network and local level. Board diversity became a priority in 2009, and today, Camden has one of the most racially and gender diverse boards in Commercial Real Estate. Recognizing the inevitable need for DEI as an industry focus, Camden was a founding member of the National Multifamily Housing Council's (NMHC) DEI Committee and an early contributor to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trust’s (Nareit) Dividends through DEI CEO Council.

Camden firmly believes that intentional DEI builds organizational capacity, and the path forward must ensure DEI is woven into their culture, talent, and business practices. Within two years of establishing internal DEI governance, Camden was recognized with Nareit’s Gold Corporate DEI Award and their COO was recognized with Nareit’s Individual DEI Achievement Award. Read on to see what sets them apart!

DEI Intentionality and Commitment

In order to lead, execute, and sustain progress, Camden’s DEI Governance includes 100% commitment from participating executives, a full-time DEI Director, a DEI Council working group, and CultureConnection - an internal peer network designed to champion DEI and one another. The growth of Camden’s governance is attributed to senior leaders who are serious about driving progress and a wide cast of talented employees willing to volunteer their stories, time, and talent to doing better.

One of the first actions taken by Camden’s DEI Committee was to conduct a company-wide survey to gauge team member perceptions around Camden’s DEI efforts. Camden then conducted DEI focus groups to better understand individual experiences and opportunities for organizational improvements.

2022 Impact

Building DEI governance that was inclusive of the current employee experience was one thing. Acting upon DEI priorities determined by the employee population was another. Camden’s DEI Council leaders, representing underrepresented minorities from various regions and functional groups, were instrumental in contributing their unique perspectives and bold ideas to advance Camden’s ‘for-all’ employee experience.

As true shepherds of Camden’s values, this group worked together to build a DEI strategy from the ground up - a strategy rooted in Camden’s legacy areas of strength and designed to serve the future needs of the business. As Camden’s vision for an increasingly inclusive future began to unfold, it was these individuals who contributed their stories and their time to amplify underrepresented voices. That work matters.

As a result…

  • Camden created space for DEI dialogue. By casting a light on the identity mix that makes their organization a great place to work, Camden highlighted stories of resilience, individual achievement, and humanity. Black Excellence, Celebrating HERstory, Pride, and Hispanic Heritage Month featured Camden’s DEI Council leaders alongside Camden’s CEO, COO, CFO, and independent trust managers. Each DEI event represented the power of possibility, inclusive leadership, and representation.

  • Camden established CultureConnection as a unique and united community exchange to foster connection and growth. With representation from each region and all levels, this group meets regularly to support one another and DEI as part of the Camden employee experience.  Every CultureConnector symbolizes Camden’s opportunity to grow in curiosity, courage, and authenticity – to create kindness and involvement in our work world – and to live in each other’s values.      

The impact? In 2022 Camden reached their entire employee population with DEI learning: 80% of Camden employees completed voluntarily DEI training. 95% of Camden employees engaged in immersive DEI experiences celebrating national diversity recognition months. In 2023, CultureConnectors are expanding reach and influence, while gaining new opportunities to lead and serve their larger Camden team.

The ongoing work  

Whereas a key 2022 focus of Camden’s DEI Committee was to increase appreciation for the impact of DEI on individual outcomes, significant efforts also went into talent analytics and the impact of DEI on organizational outcomes. One key goal Camden committed to was to increase transparency and access to DEI analytics. An expanded view of Camden's diversity data was made public in their annual ESG report, and the results of the DEI employee survey were made available internally.

Also in 2022, and as a result of measuring DEI outcomes in their talent cycle, Camden was able to identify new ways to increase access to career development opportunities. As a result, Camden celebrated an increase in representation of people of color within manager roles between 2021 and 2022.

Camden firmly believes that in order for DEI to be sustained, critical concepts must be embedded within not only the culture, but talent and business practices. In 2022, Camden launched a new employee experience and team engagement platform. These introduced key components of a talent system that will produce actionable metrics and outcomes related to inclusion and equity. Also in 2022, Camden launched a Supplier Diversity taskforce to understand improve supplier diversity, and the impact on communities in which they operate. Today, that effort has been widely adopted with the Commercial Real Estate Diverse Suppliers (CREDS) consortium.


Camden’s DEI journey is focused on opportunities to create impact in team members’ lives. At the same time, they are committed to strengthening partnerships that drive collective progress in the real estate industry. They are committed to continuing to build DEI governance and leadership accountability, to the regular practice of analyzing internal and external trends, and continued leadership in industry associations. Their purpose is clear: foster an environment where all are welcome and encouraged to succeed. Camden is committed to building an inclusive future, one that represents the best of yesterday, the best of today, and the best of tomorrow!