Roundtable Weekly
Roundtable to Establish Standing Policy Committee on Diversity and Inclusion; Industry Executives Discuss Needed Actions
June 26, 2020

Roundtable Meeting

The Real Estate Roundtable’s Board of Directors recently approved establishment of a new standing committee to address inclusivity and diversity in the industry and as part of the organization’s policy agenda.  (Roundtable Weekly, June 12)

  • The new committee’s working name is the “Real Estate Diversity and Inclusion Policy Advisory Committee” (REDIPAC).  Its intended objectives are to: 

    • Encourage Roundtable members to adopt and report on quantifiable standards for attracting workers across all skill- and corporate-levels from minority and other pools of talent historically under-represented in our industry;

    • Leverage The Roundtable’s existing advocacy agenda on tax, capital, climate/energy, housing, and infrastructure policies with a view toward also including policy elements aimed to dismantle racial and other barriers to equality; and

    • Build coalitions with civil rights and real estate industry organizations to scale the effectiveness of joint initiatives.

  • The new committee’s mission statement, leadership and requests for participants are expected to be announced in July.

  • This week, African American real estate executives discussed actions needed to expand diversity at all levels of the industry during a webinar on “The Black Experience in Real Estate,” hosted by NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate
  • Schack Associate Dean Sam Chandan lead the remote discussion with four panelists:  

  • The panelists expressed their hope that recent executive-level responses to the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of police officers represent not simply a “moment but a movement.”  The webinar participants also agreed what is needed now are tangible actions that could bring measurable, positive changes to increase opportunities for minorities in real estate. (The Real Deal, June 26) and Bloomberg, June 23, “Black Real Estate Executives Seek Lasting Change in Diversity”)

  • The four leaders discussed their personal experiences with systemic racism and recommended inclusivity steps that CRE leaders should take in their companies.  (Registration required to watch the June 9 webinar

Separately, a June 24 Walker & Dunlop webinar focused on the first African American woman REIT CEO – Leslie Hale of RLJ Lodging Trust.  Roundtable Member Willy Walker, W&D’s Chairman & CEO, hosted the discussion, which addressed the opportunities for increasing diversity in commercial real estate, Ms. Hale’s approach to diversity and inclusion, the current outlook for the hospitality and retail industries, the U.S. economy and more. 

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