Global Real Estate DEI Survey 2021


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According to the results of the 2021 DEI Survey, 92% of commercial real estate firms globally have a DEI program or initiatives highlighting a clear mandate and momentum for DEI to be a priority within the industry. ANREVINREVNAREIM, NCREIF, PENSION REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONREALPAC and Urban Land Institute joined forces with Ferguson Partners in 2021 to track global real estate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) data around corporate practices.

Key findings include:

  • DEI is a priority: 92% of CRE firms globally have a DEI program or initiatives to improve DEI. Of the 92% of firms with a DEI program or initiatives to improve DEI, 47% of CRE firms have a formal DEI program and 45% of CRE firms have DEI initiatives and policies to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • According to the Survey, 25% of firms globally employed professionals solely dedicated to DEI. In Europe, that figure was 43% while in Asia-Pacific, 33% of CRE firms had dedicated DEI professionals. In North America, 21% of CRE firms had dedicated DEI professionals. DEI committees are predominantly used by firms in North America (67%) and by larger organizations globally. In Asia-Pacific and Europe, DEI committees are utilized by around 44% of firms. Of the firms with at least one dedicated DEI employee, the DEI employee is usually at the senior level. DEI committees also typically report to the C-suite executive or directly to the CEO or other senior leadership.
  • Gender balance: The global CRE industry is comprised of 58% men and 42% women. The data differs by region. In the Asia Pacific region, men represent 53% of all full-time employees (FTEs) compared to 47% women. In Europe, men represent 62% of all FTEs compared to 38% for women. In North America, men represent 59% of all FTEs compared to 41% for women.
  • Gender and seniority: For all regions, women represent more than 50% of FTEs at the junior-level. The gap between male and female employees widens for all regions as professionals progress through their careers to executive management positions and the board of director level.
  • Asia-Pacific CRE firms have the greatest representation of women in senior positions with women comprising 32% of all executive management positions and 26% of board positions. In North America, women represent 20% of executive management and 21% of board of directors roles, while in Europe women represent 16% of executive management and 14% of board roles.
  • Race/ethnicity and nationality: No one region tracks race/ethnicity or nationality in the same way making global comparisons difficult.
  • In North America (77% of participants), 29% of FTEs are professionals of color. Insufficient data was collected in 2021 in relation to nationality for Asia-Pacific CRE firms and race/ethnicity for Europe CRE firms.

Download a PDF of this report to read additional findings.

For questions or further information, please contact Dionna Johnson Sallis.

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