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Global DEI benchmark to launch backed by 7 leading Associations

ANREV, INREV, NAREIM, NCREIF, PREA, REALPAC and ULI join forces with Ferguson Partners to 
launch the Global Real Estate DEI Survey on September 8

00:00 Wednesday, September 8, 2021: Seven leading industry associations have partnered together 
to create a global benchmark of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics for the commercial real 
estate industry.

ANREV, INREV, NAREIM, NCREIF, PREA, REALPAC and ULI have joined forces to support and expand 
the Global Real Estate DEI Survey, a corporate benchmark of gender, ethnicity and nationality across 
seniority and job functions across commercial real estate globally. Ferguson Partners will conduct 
the survey on behalf of the organizations.

The Global Real Estate DEI Survey will launch on September 8, 2021 and remain open for data 
submissions until October 22. The final results will be released in December.

First created in 2017 as part of an annual compensation study by NAREIM and Ferguson and 
launched as a dedicated survey in 2020, the Global Real Estate DEI Survey will provide employee 
demographic and best practice metrics for Asia, Europe and North America. 

It will also expand the type of commercial real estate firms being tracked to include all players 
within the CRE asset class, from institutional investors to real estate investment managers, 
architects, developers and operating partners, to service providers and consultants. 

The Survey’s expansion geographically and in terms of eligible participants is a response to the 
growing prioritization of DEI within CRE organizations, and the need among organizations to 
benchmark not only their own internal DEI policies but also that of partners and vendors. 

The Global Real Estate DEI Survey will track: 

  • DEI program structure, resources and ownership
  • Policies focused on recruitment, retention, training and development, inclusivity, tracking and 
  • accountability and pay equity
  • Employee demographics by gender, ethnicity and nationality, across seniority and job function, 
  • as well as DEI hiring, promotion and departure trends year-over-year.

The Survey results will be presented at a regional level and by type of firm to ensure the ability of 
participants to compare themselves on a peer-to-peer basis. 

“As DEI initiatives have become a major point of focus within the CRE industry, there is a strong 
desire among industry participants to understand best practices and learn from the experiences of 
their peers. This survey, the most comprehensive of its kind, is designed to provide actionable
guidance that real estate companies can leverage to benefit employees, owners, investors, and the
industry at large.”

The Global Real Estate DEI Survey 2021 builds on more than four years of DEI benchmarking within 
the real estate investment management industry. 

In 2020, the DEI Survey – then completed by 74 real estate investment management organizations 
representing more than $2tn of assets under management and 20,000 full-time employees –
showed a majority of real estate investment management firms were prioritizing DEI within their 
organizations and dedicating more resources to DEI initiatives. It also revealed that women and 
minority professionals at the most senior levels – executive management – had increased their
representation but still comprised just 15% of positions respectively.

Collaboration in action
ANREV: “This study, with our fellow Associations in the commercial real estate industry, coincides 
with a number of Asian governments’ and industries’ efforts to involve more women in their 
respective economies. It also comes as intra-regional labour migration is picking up. As a research 
and best practice sharing organisation in Asia, the results of this survey should mark a useful 
understanding of how DEI is progressing across the region,” said Jeremy Stewardson, Chief 
Executive of ANREV (the Asian Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles: 

INREV: “The expansion of the Global Real Estate DEI Survey marks a truly positive step for the 
industry. As the first of its kind, this benchmark will undoubtedly spur positive changes that have 
been long due within the industry. While the work put into the creation of this benchmark has 
been admirable, the job is far from complete. As diversity and inclusion continues to rise in 
importance across Europe, it will be essential for European organisations to look beyond their own 
borders for examples of global businesses that are championing diversity and inclusion. We can, 
and must, learn from one another to take further steps toward the development of best practices 
and standards that will gradually lead us to a more diverse and inclusive industry,” commented 
Lonneke Löwik, CEO of INREV (the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate: 

NAREIM: “As commercial real estate firms evolve their approach to DEI, the ability to track progress
and collaborate becomes increasingly critical – not just within an organization, but across peers, 
sectors, and the industry as a whole. The Global Real Estate DEI Survey provides a baseline 
understanding of DEI progress to date. It’s a point from which organizations can measure their own
organizational performance – and that of their partners and vendors. However, most importantly, 
the Survey is about the sharing of best practices. There is no one-size-fits-all solution as to how we 
improve DEI within commercial real estate. Instead, there are a multitude of ideas that can be
shared for the benefit of the entire industry. This DEI Survey is a small collaborative step towards
that greater best practice sharing,” said Zoe Hughes, CEO of NAREIM (the National Association of 
Real Estate Investment Managers: https://www.nareim.org/

NCREIF: “NCREIF is proud to be participating in such an important effort. Having a full industry 
approach to this survey should ensure a far broader reach than individual efforts. It is great to see 
the industry unified for the advancement of DEI,” commented Dan Dierking, President of NCREIF 
(the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries: https://www.ncreif.org/

PREA: “DEI is an increasingly important focus for the real estate investment industry. PREA and 
many of its members have put substantial efforts into increasing diversity in the industry. But what 
has been missing is a broad-based effort to establish a baseline to which firms can compare their 
own diversity programs and accomplishments, and to measure progress in the industry over time. 
The Global Real Estate DEI Survey will help fill that need and PREA is proud to partner with other 
like-minded organizations from around the world in this important effort,” said Gail Haynes, 
President of PREA (the Pension Real Estate Association: https://www.prea.org/

REALPAC: “REALPAC is committed to accelerating the implementation of meaningful Equity, 
Diversity, Inclusion & Indigeneity initiatives across the Canadian commercial real estate industry, 
and removing barriers to equitable opportunities. We are pleased to be partnering with our sister 
associations around the globe on this survey – a very important tool in our roadmap to achieving 
these goals,” said Michael Brooks, CEO of REALPAC (the Canadian Real Property Association: 

ULI: “ULI is pleased to join this global coalition of real estate organizations in providing a common 
industry benchmark around DEI. Gaining a deeper level of insight into the status of the entire real 
estate value chain with respect to DEI metrics, and establishing what those metrics should be, 
allows all of us to stay on track as we work to accelerate progress toward an industry that better 
represents the people and values of the communities we serve,” said Ed Walter, Global CEO of the 
Urban Land Institute: https://uli.org/

See over for statistical highlights from the DEI Survey 2020.
For more information on the Global Real Estate DEI Survey 2021, please contact:

Zoe Hughes, CEO, NAREIM: zhughes@nareim.org
Erin Green, Managing Director, Ferguson Partners: egreen@fergusonpartners.com
Johyln Da Prato, Director of Marketing and Communications, INREV: johlyn.daprato@inrev.org

Highlights from the 2020 DEI Survey
Note: Between 2017 and 2020, the DEI Survey was conducted by NAREIM and Ferguson Partners 
and related to employee demographic metrics for real estate investment management 
organizations and teams in North America only. 

The 2020 DEI Survey
Completed by 74 real estate investment management organizations representing more than $2tn 
of assets under management and 20,000 full-time employees, the DEI Survey 2020 was conducted 
between September and November 2020 and comprised North America data only. Key takeaways 

  • 96% of survey respondents in 2020 said they had a DEI program or initiatives to improve DEI 
  • within their organizations. 
  • 71% of participants said they dedicated staff to their DEI approach, either with dedicated
  • employees or through committee structures with employees from across business lines, up from
  • just 37% in 2017.
  • Between 2017 and 2020, when NAREIM conducted surveys on DEI within real estate investment 
  • management, women and minority executives increased their representation, particularly at 
  • executive management and senior levels: 
  • By 2020, women had increased their representation at executive management levels by
  • 25%, increasing from 12% in 2017 to 15% in 2020.
  • By 2020, minority professionals had increased their representation at executive 
  • management levels by 50%, increasing from 10% in 2017 to 15% in 2020.
  • Among senior level professionals, women represented 30% of executives in 2020, up 
  • from 23% in 2017.
  • In 2020, survey respondents said the three most important outcomes from DEI efforts were: 
  • A greater number of diverse employees (78% of respondents)
  • More diverse management team (72% of respondents)
  • More women in leadership positions (51% of respondents)