It is not news that the identity of the real estate investment management industry has long been characterized by its predominantly homogenous workforce. Yet in my fourth decade, I can affirm that change is accelerating. In the first part of my career, I was often the only woman in the room. Later, women began joining the industry but only in certain disciplines and rarely as the lead of a function or a company. Real signs of change have started to arrive with a recent, dedicated focus on parity that had never before existed. Pledges have been taken and strides have been made to make the industry more diverse for women, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, with a goal of making the industry look like the stakeholders and customers it serves. In late 2021, my organization, BentallGreenOak (BGO) joined CREW Network’s Pledge for Action to Advance Women and DEI in Commercial Real Estate; a CEO-driven initiative to advance women and elevate actions that encourage greater DEI in the commercial real estate industry. And we intend to stand by our word.
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