Nareit created the Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) Initiative in 2017 to take 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.

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As the representative voice for REITs and publicly traded real estate, Nareit plays a role to help advance the REIT 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, which launched in 2017.

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. As part of the DEI strategic plan, Nareit creates, facilitates, and leads programs; data and research; education and training; and leadership opportunities. Learn more about Nareit’s DEI strategic plan.

Nareit's Workforce Development & DEI Survey, 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 2021 Workforce Development and DEI Survey (PDF).

Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee


  • Diane Morefield, Board Member, UDR, Inc.
  • Mary Hogan Preusse, Founder & Principal, Sturgis Partners, LLC
  • Sherry Rexroad, CFO, STORE Capital Corporation


  • Lisa Kaufman, Head of Global Securities, LaSalle Investment Management
  • Bill Ferguson, Chairman & CEO, Ferguson Partners, Ltd.
  • Sheila McGrath, Senior Managing Director, Evercore ISI

Nareit’s Senior Vice President, Social Responsibility & Global Initiatives, Ayris Scales is Nareit’s liaison to the DDEI Initiative.