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PODCAST: CRE Leaders Talk DEI Blowback, Hiring Quotas, Recession Impacts

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.


After the events of the summer of 2020, Bisnow made a commitment to examine the racial and gender diversity — or lack thereof — at the top levels of commercial real estate. Nowhere else had definite, thorough data on the industry, which we felt we needed as many of its biggest companies made pledges to diversify their ranks.

This year is our third conducting this analysis, and the first time that we dug further to see what titles people of color and women hold at the top levels of these companies, to understand not just how many diverse voices are represented, but also how much influence they have.

On this episode of the podcast, we’re taking stock of the numbers with industry players who are invested and committed to a broader range of talent being part of the industry. We hear Collete English Dixon, the executive director of the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University and a recently appointed board member at Marcus & Millichap, talk over the experiences of the next generation of real estate professionals.

We also have a discussion with Avison Young CEO Mark Rose and Project Destined founder Cedric Bobo over “lateral” hiring and managing diversity fatigue and blowback.

“Diversity is to improve how much money we make, not to sort of reduce the amount of money you make, or the opportunities you have. It’s about us ultimately being a better business because we have a variety of voices,” Bobo said on the show. “And while some people may think we’ve over-indexed on the discussion, we’re just trying to carve back some of the opportunity where there was a moment in time where it could actually benefit our business.”