Savills’ Junior Broker Development Program
Pictured: Members of Savills North America Junior Broker Development Program.
In an effort to add diversity within sales roles at Savills, CEO Mitchell E. Rudin came to senior leadership in the company with the idea to create the Savills’ Junior Broker Development Program to recruit, train and invest in the next generation of Savills associate brokers. Local leaders within the company were selected to help train the class based on their passions for DEI and desire to see people succeed. Facilitators were unafraid to dedicate time away from their entrepreneurial/professional goals to teach and train the future generation.
In its 2020 inaugural class, there were 10 participants admitted — eight African American men, one woman and one man who identified as White. As a result of the program, Savills increased diversity in participating brokerage teams by 100% in New York, and increased diversity of entry-level to junior-level associates in participating markets by 100%. Additionally, 100% of the candidates who completed the program are now working in full-time positions for the company.
CBRE: Workforce Representation Program
Pictured: Tim Dismond, chief responsibility officer, CBRE
CBRE’s Workforce Representation Program is underpinned by data to inform decisions, policies and processes. CBRE has built a team of experienced diversity, equity and inclusion professionals to lead its initiatives and partnered with its business line and corporate function leaders to ingrain DE&I best practices into their existing efforts. They also created a global Executive Inclusion Council composed of senior leaders committed to DE&I and focused on accountability.
As of the end of 2020, with over 100,000 employees at the company, 32.2% of its global management is female — a 20% increase over the prior three years — and 70% of its board of directors are diverse, including 30% female. Along with that, in 2021 CBRE more than doubled the percentage of Black executives, saw diverse professionals account for more than 50% of promotions and nearly half of new hires in the U.S., and increased the number of new, diverse interns by 33%. Additionally, CBRE scored 76% on its employee engagement survey for questions on inclusion and belonging with feeling safe, valued and heard all ranking in the top three scores overall.
Related Cos.: DEI Task Force
Pictured: Tanya Diaz-Goldsmith, manager of talent development and diversity at Related
Related’s DEI Task Force was formed in 2020 as a way for the company to embed diversity and inclusion initiatives into the fabric of its business practices across geographies, asset classes, divisions and platforms.
Its first goal was to empower internal leaders, which it did by appointing its vice chairman as chief diversity officer, reporting directly to its CEO to ensure results and transparency on DEI goals across all business divisions and appointing “captains” across its organization, both geographically and within functional groups, to lead DEI efforts that advance progress. The company also appointed “supply chain officers” for the development of professionals and construction vendors/subcontractors and suppliers, as well as corporate vendors, to pursue and comply with minority/women-owned business enterprise goals.
Since its formation in 2020, the DEI task force has expanded to 20 executives. These leaders serve as an advisory body to the CDO and chief human resources officer; directly engage with and help drive priority initiatives; recommend policies and practices that foster a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture; and work with departments to develop and regularly review DEI metrics and progress across the company's pillars. Related has also implemented over 20 distinct initiatives within its five pillars under the guidance of its internal leadership. Since June 2020, this has resulted in an increase in hires from underrepresented groups — Asian, Black and/or Latinx — by 4.7% in development, as well as 22% of women companywide being promoted to a higher position.
Basis Investment Group: The Basis Impact Foundation
Pictured: Tammy Jones, co-founder and CEO, Basis Investment Group
The Basis Impact Foundation was founded by Basis CEO Tammy Jones, who leads DEI efforts from the top-down, seeking to inspire the next generation of minorities and women in CRE by exposing underrepresented youth to career and wealth-building opportunities. As part of the firm’s DEI Policy, Basis aims for at least 50% diverse/female representation among its employees and has surpassed that target year-over-year. As of Dec. 31, 2021, 75% of its staff was diverse/female and 91% of promotions in 2021 were achieved by diverse/female employees.
Basis provides regular formal and informal training sessions for both employees and managers, including unconscious bias training and educational sessions on the rights and responsibilities of all employees under Basis’ DEI Policy. Quarterly, Basis undertakes formalized training sessions focusing on topics relating to critical aspects of its business, such as environmental sustainability, multicultural sensitivity and partner risk assessment.
Through the work of Basis Impact Foundation, 300 high school students of color were admitted to the REEX Summer Program in 2021, bringing the total number of program graduates to more than 600 and increasing the number of college program partners to eight.
Artemis Real Estate Partners: The Artemis Summer Enrichment Program
Pictured: Members of the Artemis Summer Enrichment Program.
The Artemis Summer Enrichment Program was created by Artemis Real Estate Partners 10 years ago to expose a diverse group of undergraduates to commercial real estate. The five-week program provides rising college sophomores and juniors with experiential learning and technical training, widening the circle of opportunity for those underrepresented in the industry. Students learn critical real estate concepts, tour high-profile projects, complete the Wall Street Prep modeling boot camp and deliver capstone presentations to the Artemis Investment Committee, and many participants gain additional work experience with real estate partner firms in early August.
Since 2013, 187 students have participated in the program, and over 85% have been women and/or students of color. Nearly 50% of participants have gone on to internships and job placements in real estate, banking and finance with firms such as Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Eastdil, Starwood, JP Morgan and others. In 2022, Artemis plans to hire two former SEP participants and recent graduates as full-time, entry-level analysts.
L+M Development Partners: Rise Up Program
Pictured: LaNelle Alexander, director of diversity, equity and inclusion, L+M
One of the five pillars of L+M Development Partners’ Rise Up Program is: Resilience – Empower & Develop Talent. This pillar was designed to challenge comfort zones, drive growth and awareness, and build an inclusive and equitable workplace. The Resilience pillar targets employees and senior leaders to increase engagement, performance and productivity by listening to other perspectives/increasing awareness of blind spots; uncovering unconscious bias and how it impacts decision-making; understanding practices and policies concerning unconscious bias; and developing skills to manage stress and anxiety in a healthier way.
L+M’s DEI team rolled out workshops and resources to all employees, including speaker series events, to shift perspectives and develop an awareness of bias and microaggressions and Wellness Wednesday Workshops and the Resilience Toolkit, both to break mental health stigma, support resilience and sustain talent. They also implemented Recruitment and Interviewing Toolkits, to better attract and cultivate diverse talent through standardized interview and evaluation practices.
L+M’s DEI team uses a “25% tipping point" as one of its progress measures, among other qualitative and quantitative tools. The tipping point indicates large-scale social change happens when just 25% of a group commits to change and states that once the tipping point is reached, others will adopt the change too. L+M exceeded the tipping point with 35% of staff attending the speaker series/mental health interactive workshops, and 28% of staff participating in the Employee Resource Group panel discussions.
Gilbane: Gilbane's Economic Inclusion Task Force
Pictured: A chart from Gilbane on moving the needle on economic inclusion.
Gilbane's Economic Inclusion Task Force, which was launched in October 2020, focuses on strategies to maximize the number of minority and women-owned businesses enterprises involved in Gilbane projects and ensure their success. Through EITF, Glibane formed four subcommittees focused on: driving cultural commitment to diversity and enthusiasm for promoting inclusion on project sites, conducting outreach to find promising diverse-owned firms, building up WBEs, and creating conditions for success on its project sites.
The company put this task force into action by creating an Economic Inclusion Guidebook for Operations to serve as a how-to reference for project teams. Additionally, Gilbane leadership is committed to social responsibility, making it the primary focus of the company’s 2022 strategic plan. Now, Gilbane employees include economic inclusion commitments in their performance goals and economic inclusion is a selection criterion for all major company awards. Gilbane’s project portfolio in New York City achieved a 33% M/WBE participation rate for 2021, representing over $124M in awards to 136 unique M/WBE.
HOK: The HOK Diversity Advisory Council
Pictured: Members of the HOK Diversity Advisory Council
HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council was created to help the firm provide an inclusive work environment, grow its talent through intentional mentorship efforts and provide an opportunity for HOK professionals from varying racial, gender and cultural backgrounds to have advocates that support their pathways to career development.
The council is made up of volunteers from across HOK studios of various ages, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations and experience levels. Each office has a local steering committee composed of professionals across multiple disciplines. A firmwide task force includes representatives from each office that meet quarterly to share program updates, lessons learned and new initiatives. Programs vary from traditional one-on-one mentoring to small group mentoring focused on specific areas of interest. Events like themed panel discussions and “Ask Me Anything” town halls offer broad access to firm leaders.
HOK’s firmwide task force surveys each office annually to assess the impact of its mentoring program. Qualitative results include a more inclusive office culture, better access to leadership and increased cross-pollination of knowledge across different generations and disciplines. From a quantitative standpoint, more than 80% of participating offices noted that the program was effective in helping to maintain office culture during remote work. HOK’s St. Louis studio reported a 21% increase in participants in 2021 compared to 2020, with 85% of respondents sharing that the program supported their career development.
Bozzuto: Belonging At Bozzuto
Pictured: Members of Belonging at Bozzuto
Bozzuto launched its Community Forum Program in 2014 to bring together employees to collaborate on diversity and inclusion. This led to the formation of its seven Employee Resource Groups that offer associates opportunities to bond over shared experiences, learn about new perspectives and gain leadership experience. ERGs are employee-led and are guided by Bozzuto’s ERG Leadership Toolkit. They host membership meetings, build relationships, and plan meaningful programming, professional development and community service projects.
Over the past two years, ERGs have hosted more than 30 events. These include a Walk-a Thon, raising $7,500 for the Human Rights Campaign, supply drives that collected more than 5,000 school supplies for underserved communities and more. Bozzuto’s data shows that associates who belong to one of its seven ERGs tend to get promoted more often and stay at the company longer. Out of the nearly 1,000 associates who belong to an ERG, 26% were promoted in the last year, in comparison to 18% of the company at large. It also found that its retention of associates belonging to ERGs is high while turnover remains low. Over the past year, Bozzuto has retained 84% of associates who belong to an ERG, as opposed to the 66% of the company at large.