As the representative voice for REITs and publicly traded real estate, Nareit plays a critical role in advancing the industry’s DEI efforts.

With the support of REIT CEOs and executive leadership councils and committees, including the Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion CEO Council, Nareit has developed its DEI strategic plan to build upon the Dividends Through Diversity & Inclusion (DDEI) initiative.

Nareit’s DEI strategic plan aims to increase the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry’s visibility and appeal to diverse talent and businesses through a focus on people, partnerships, and philanthropy. The intent is to introduce members of underrepresented groups to REITs and publicly traded real estate, develop and elevate existing talent, and create a more culturally inclusive industry.

As part of the DEI strategic plan, Nareit creates, facilitates, and leads:

These activities are designed for Nareit members and accessible by the broader commercial real estate community to supplement each individual company’s DEI programming and strategies.

Please contact Ayris Scales, Nareit’s senior vice president of social responsibility & global initiatives at to learn how Nareit can support your organization’s DEI strategy.

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At the core of any successful DEI program is the people within each organization. Nareit provides various programs, trainings, resources, and leadership opportunities to help guide the development and optimization of successful DEI programs to drive diversity and representation at every level, compensation equity, and an inclusive workplace.

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Nareit has initiated partnerships to bring best-in-class programming and resources tailored to the REIT and publicly traded real estate community to better support the growth of a diverse talent pipeline and increase the industry’s overall appeal to underrepresented groups.

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The Nareit Foundation’s Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Giving Campaign, launched in 2022 and funded by Nareit members, demonstrates the collective commitment to long-term partnerships with charitable and educational organizations and initiatives that will help create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive REIT and publicly traded real estate industry.

Below you’ll find various DEI and ESG-related programs, research and data, education and training, and leadership opportunities Nareit provides to its members and the broader real estate community. Sign up here for DEI-related updates from Nareit.



The Management Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT) Black Equity at Work Certification Program provides companies with data-backed, measurable standards for achieving Black equity within their operations, and provides expert guidance and support to help companies reach equity. In February 2022, Nareit hosted an informational webinar with MLT cofounder Jonah Edelman to allow members to learn more about the program and hear directly from executives who have participated in the program. Watch a replay of the webinar and download the presentation materials (PDF).

The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge aims to rally the business community across all industries and sectors to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. CEO Action was founded on a shared belief that DEI is a societal issue, not a competitive one, and that collaboration and bold action from the business community – especially CEOs – is vital to driving change at scale. Nareit’s DDEI CEO Council determined that encouraging REIT industry CEOs to sign the CEO Action Pledge was a worthwhile initiative. In July 2021, Nareit hosted an informational webinar about the pledge for its members. Watch a recording of the webinar and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Nareit Foundation’s DDEI Giving Campaign raises funds from Nareit members and forms long-term partnerships with organizations and initiatives that will help create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive REIT and publicly traded real estate industry. Managed through the Nareit Foundation, the campaign is designed to demonstrate collective commitment to advancing DEI on behalf of the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry while complementing and compounding the impact of individual companies' efforts in similar areas.

For nearly two decades, the Nareit Foundation has supported educational and charitable initiatives for the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry. In 2018, the Nareit Foundation launched the Nareit Hawaii Community Giving Initiative to support affordable housing and family focused programs. In three years, the Nareit Foundation initiative has given $1.385M statewide.


Data & Research

Nareit’s Compensation & Benefits Survey is the most comprehensive real estate survey of its kind, featuring compensation data on more than 200 job titles commonly found at REITs. In this survey, Nareit and Ferguson Partners capture a vast amount of competitive data that can help real estate organizations identify the latest market shifts and developments relating to compensation levels, department sizes and organizational structures. This survey is an invaluable tool to help real estate companies achieve compensation equity and benchmark compensation packages with competitors.

Nareit’s Workforce Development & DEI Survey© (PDF), exclusively available to Nareit corporate members in full, features data on REIT DEI practices. This annual survey helps Nareit track progress, gain insights into the state of DEI in the REIT industry, and identify opportunities for improvement. Read a summary of the 2022 Workforce Development & DEI Survey (PDF).

Nareit’s REIT ESG Dashboard identifies and tracks environmental, social, and governance (ESG) key performance indicators for the U.S. REIT industry. This tool, now in its fifth year, can help REITs and publicly traded real estate companies benchmark their ESG strategies and reporting practices.


Education & Training

Nareit REITworks Conference is an educational conference where REIT industry professionals can learn about the latest developments in environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and good governance impacting the real estate sector. Attendees hear thought leaders discuss key topics related to accounting, financial reporting, sustainability, capital markets, disclosures, investor relations, DEI, human resources, and more.

Nareit ESG JumpStart Workshop offers REIT industry professionals the opportunity to learn from peers and subject matter experts who have successfully created or optimized an ESG program for a REIT. Attendees walk away with actionable strategies for developing an effective ESG program and sessions cover topics ranging from how to start reporting on ESG performance to best practices for developing and measuring the success of a DEI program.

Nareit’s ESG Exchange webinar series virtually brings together ESG-focused investors and REIT industry professionals for discussions on enterprise-wide environmental stewardship, social responsibility and good governance topics impacting real estate. Past webinars have covered topics ranging from DEI and gender equity in the REIT industry to reporting and disclosures for social programs and initiatives. Sign up here to be notified of upcoming ESG Exchange webinars.


Nareit DEI Leadership

Nareit Councils & Committees provide members the opportunity to participate in and facilitate best practice sharing and to help guide Nareit’s DEI strategic plan.

Nareit’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recognition Awards honor both Nareit member companies and individual members who have demonstrated a strong commitment and made outstanding contributions to the advancement of DEI within their companies as well as in the REIT community.

Contact to learn more about the awards and Nareit’s councils and committees.

Current leadership groups include:

Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) CEO Council leads the REIT industry’s efforts in taking actionable and sustainable measures that support the recruitment, inclusion, development, and advancement of women, Black professionals, other people of color, ethnically diverse individuals, and members of other under-represented groups in REITs and the publicly traded real estate industry. The DDEI CEO Council is made up of more than 30 REIT CEOs, who collectively represent every segment of the REIT industry.

Social Responsibility Council (SRC) is a cross-disciplinary group representing Nareit’s corporate membership. The SRC advises Nareit regarding the broad range of social responsibility initiatives Nareit should undertake on the industry’s behalf and those that corporate members should consider.

Nareit’s DEI Peer Exchange (formerly DEI Working Group), open exclusively to Nareit corporate members, provides a collaborative space where DEI practitioners can discuss challenges and opportunities and exchange ideas and solutions specific to the real estate profession.

Industry Leadership

REDI Alliance (Real Estate Diversity & Inclusion), founded by Nareit in 2019, exists to foster collaboration and to create a forum where diversity, equity and inclusion leaders from real estate organizations can share ideas and take collective action to advance DEI within the commercial real estate industry. Members include Building Owners and Managers Association International, International Council of Shopping Centers, Mortgage Bankers Association, NAIOP, Nareit, National Multifamily Housing Council, and Urban Land Institute.

Real Estate Executive Council (REEC) is the preeminent professional trade association promoting the interests of executives of color doing business across the commercial real estate industry. Nareit participates in the REEC Diversity Partner Program, which focuses on achieving goals across multiple dimensions of diversity, including talent (pipeline and retention), corporate spend (supplier/vendor diversity), capital (investing in and/or with partners of color), and advocating for diverse teams with internal and external vendors.