New York (November 17, 2021) — BentallGreenOak has joined CREW Network’s CRE Pledge for Action, a CEO-driven initiative to advance women and elevate actions that encourage greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the commercial real estate industry. In signing on, BentallGreenOak’s global management team affirms its intentions to implement initiatives that advance women and DEI. Representing BentallGreenOak’s leadership team, co-CEO Sonny Kalsi, joins more than 40 CEOs from leading commercial real estate (CRE) industry companies that have also made the commitment.
“Today’s announcement re-affirms the position that BGO has taken to be bold and decisive in our actions to increase the representation of women and underrepresented groups at our firm,” said Sonny Kalsi, co-CEO of BentallGreenOak. “We are especially turning to organizations like CREW and to our peers in CRE to seek out resolutions to the DEI challenges of our industry, with particular focus on the plight of women of color in real estate. We all have much more work to do to get to where we need to be.”
“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 BentallGreenOak for joining us, and we encourage and urge more firms across the CRE industry to be a part of this ground-breaking initiative.”
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’s leading research on gender and diversity in commercial real estate, meaningful progress remains to be seen on gender representation and parity. Motivated by the need for urgent action, BentallGreenOak has made gender diversity a key strategic focus as part of the firm’s broader goal to be the global leader in EDI for the commercial real estate industry.
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 slow pace 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 not only supports the advancement of women but a much-need focus on professionals in underrepresented groups including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and age.
BentallGreenOak has committed to adopt the following six goals:
- Partner with CREW Network to support its mission to transform the industry by advancing women and begin your efforts now to make change.
- Close the compensation gap in the CRE industry by conducting a pay equity study in its company.
- Increase inclusion in its company through senior executive sponsorship of women and/or other individuals in underrepresented groups within the company.
- Advance women to its company’s top roles to achieve gender diversity in leadership.
- Increase diversity in its company and in the industry through intentional recruiting and hiring of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Implement accountability strategies in its company to measure progress.
The CRE Pledge for Action is a step toward advancing women and DEI in the commercial real estate industry. For more information, visit the pledge landing page at crewnetwork.org.
BentallGreenOak is a leading, global real estate investment management advisor and a globally-recognized provider of real estate services. BentallGreenOak serves the interests of more than 750 institutional clients with approximately $70 billion USD of assets under management (as of September 30, 2021) and expertise in the asset management of office, industrial, multi-residential, retail and hospitality property across the globe. BentallGreenOak has offices in 24 cities across twelve countries with deep, local knowledge, experience, and extensive networks in the regions where we invest in and manage real estate assets on behalf of our clients in primary, secondary and co-investment markets.
BentallGreenOak is a part of SLC Management, which is the alternatives asset management business of Sun Life.
The assets under management shown above includes real estate equity and mortgage investments managed by the BentallGreenOak group of companies and their affiliates, and as of 1Q21, includes certain uncalled capital commitments for discretionary capital until they are legally expired and excludes certain uncalled capital commitments where the investor has complete discretion over investment.
For more information, please visit www.bentallgreenoak.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 76+ markets worldwide and represent all disciplines of commercial real estate. Learn more at www.crewnetwork.org.
Chief Communications Officer, CREW Network