Nareit has created the Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) Initiative to promote the recruitment, inclusion and advancement of women, Black individuals, and members of other underrepresented groups in REITs and the broader commercial real estate industry.

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This Initiative seeks to achieve our mission through:

  • Expanding knowledge about successful practices for developing, implementing, enhancing, and measuring and reporting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies, programs and strategies;
  • Providing education and information to supplement career development of women, Black individuals, and members of other underrepresented groups;
  • Building a community of Nareit members who support this initiative; and 
  • Facilitating Nareit events, or sessions within larger events, focusing on DEI issues.

Strategic Goals

  1. Hold networking receptions and/or programs in conjunction with REITwise, REITweek, REITworks, and REITworld.
  2. Curate and share studies and reports about women, Black individuals, and members of other underrepresented groups working in REITs, serving on REIT boards of directors, and/or working in the broader commercial real estate industry, as well as other relevant articles and studies about DEI in the U.S. and the global commercial real estate industry. 
  3. Commission and produce research relating to DEI  in the REIT and commercial real estate industry.
  4. Connect senior Nareit members who self-identify as members of underrepresented groups who are interested and available to serve on public company boards, including REITs, with search firms doing public company and REIT board searches, as well as with Nareit REIT CEOs who are interested.
  5. Facilitate meetings with leading commercial real estate associations to explore opportunities to share information and to collaborate on DEI  matters. 
  6. Present annual awards to a Nareit individual and member companies. See below.
  7. Consider joining CEO Action and Paradigm for Parity, two large national coalitions of CEOs and senior executive across multiple sectors, with a focus on enhancing various DEI programs.
  8. Work to create various other programs focused on DEI.

Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) CEO Council

The Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) CEO Council leads the REIT industry’s efforts in advancing actionable and sustainable plans 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 30 REIT CEOs, who collectively represent every segment of the REIT industry. The council is chaired by Thomas Baltimore of Park Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Debra Cafaro of Ventas, Inc., and A. William Stein of Digital Realty. All three are past chairs of Nareit.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recognition Awards

Nareit’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recognition Awards honor both a Nareit member company and an individual member who have demonstrated a strong commitment and made outstanding contributions to the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion within their companies as well as in the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry. 

Nareit Social Policies Survey

Sponsored by Nareit and conducted by FPL Associates L.P., this annual survey provides insight into what REITs are doing with respect to the Social Responsibility component of ESG, including DEI policies regarding recruitment, retention, promotion, training and health, wellness and safety of employees, as well as community outreach and supply chain management.

The Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative’s Steering Committee is made up of the following Nareit members:

  • Diane Morefield, CFO, CyrusOne Inc. and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee
  • Mary Hogan-Preusse, Founder and Principal, Sturgis Partners LLC and Co-Chair of the Steering Commitee 
  • Sherry Rexroad, Managing Director-Global REITs, BlackRock and Co-Chair of the Steering Commitee 
  • Angela Aman, CFO, Brixmor Property Group Inc
  • Gemma Burgess, Managaing Director, Ferguson Partners Ltd.
  • Sherry Cefali, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps
  • Kelly Cheng, Director, Barclays
  • James Connor, Chairman & CEO, Duke Realty
  • Tejal Engman,  VP, Investor Relations, Host Hotels & Resorts
  • Jeffrey Donnelly, EVP & CFO, DiamondRock Hospitality
  • William Ferguson, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ferguson Partners Ltd.
  • Leslie Hale, CEO, RLJ Lodging Trust
  • Lisa Kaufman, Global CEO, Managing Director, LaSalle Investment Management Securities, LLC
  • Sheila McGrath, Sr. Managing Director, Evercore ISI
  • Marguerite M. Nader, President & CEO, Equity Lifestyle Properties, Inc.
  • Martin (Hap) Stein, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Regency Centers Corporation
  • Tracy Ward, SVP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Prologis, Inc.

The Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative’s Action Team is made up of the following Nareit members: 

  • Jenny Bean, SVP-HR, Duke Realty Corporation
  • Pam Byrne, VP, Human Capital, Welltower
  • Carolyn Carter Singh, EVP-Chief Talent Officer, Brixmor Property Group Inc.
  • Mark Delisi, VP, Corporate Responsibility and Energy Management, AvalonBay Communities
  • Leah Landro, VP-HR, Kimco Realty Corporation
  • Christine McElhinney, Senior Manager, Corporate Resonsibility, AvalonBay Communities
  • Tracy Ward, SVP, Investor Relations, Prologis, Inc.
  • Dawnita Wilson, VP, Diversity & Inclusion, JBG SMITH

Nareit’s Senior Vice President, Industry Affairs & Social Responsibility, Nathaalie Carey is Nareit’s liaison to this Initiative.