Camden Property Trust, Spirit Realty Capital, Ventas, and Laurie Baker of Camden Property Trust honored for their commitments to DEI
WASHINGTON, D.C., (Nov. 16, 2022) – Nareit presented its fourth annual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Recognition Awards during its REITworld: 2022 Annual Conference in San Francisco. These awards honor Nareit members that have demonstrated their commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within their companies as well as with the real estate industry at large.
The 2022 Corporate DEI Award winners include:
Gold: Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT) Camden Property Trust exemplifies diversity and inclusion as a business imperative and is committed to creating communities where people thrive. The organization's DEI plan operates on the notion that diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to who they are and how they achieve, and therefore DEI objectives are woven through their cultural norms, talent practices, and business objectives. Over the past several years, Camden has made significant strides to increase representation within their organization and communities – including reviewing recruitment processes and job requirements through its “Work Reimagined” program, increasing board representation, and introducing a DEI network and mentorship program, CultureConnection. Camden's commitment to creating an inclusive workplace not only positively impacts the employee experience but also impacts tenant engagement and financial results.
Silver: Spirit Realty Capital (NYSE: SRC) Spirit Realty Capital, with approximately 89 employees, has shown an outsized commitment to foster a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment within the company and local community. Over the last two years, Spirit has made commitments to advancing DEI in their organization— implementing a formal DEI council, introducing new diverse talent recruitment practices, making donations of more than $250,000 to DEI-focused non-profit organizations, and supporting community volunteering.
Bronze: Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: VTR) Ventas has a deep commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the company, the industry, and the community, and has long been a leader in DEI among REITs. Within Ventas, half of the management positions are held by women and 50% of the company’s board of directors identify as diverse by gender or ethnicity. Ventas’s formal DEI committee incorporates colleagues at all levels of the organization to develop and advance measurable goals where the company can have the greatest impact. To further drive progress, executive compensation is linked to the success of meeting key DEI objectives. Ventas also leverages its community engagement program and supply chain management to advance DEI efforts and was the first REIT signatory to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge.
The 2022 Individual DEI Award winner is:
Laurie Baker, Chief Operating Officer, Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT) Laurie Baker is Camden's recently promoted Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the first female member of Camden's C-suite. Over her 23 years with Camden, Baker has held a variety of leadership roles and has been a driving force in Camden’s DEI governance and strategy and instrumental in expanding involvement beyond those with executive titles. One of her most significant contributions has been to recognize whose voices are missing and to reach further into the ranks to ensure different perspectives are factored into the organization’s approach. While the initial DEI committee began with only senior leaders, with Baker's input, it was expanded to include nine racially diverse team members from various levels of the organization. Baker is also a founding member and the current chair of the National Multifamily Housing Council's Racial Equity Taskforce.
“As our industry continues to recognize the critical role DEI plays in the success of our workplaces, business, and communities, we are proud to see our members taking action and we look forward to seeing continued progress across the industry in years to come,” said Nareit President and CEO Steven A. Wechsler.
Each year, winners of Nareit’s DEI Recognition Awards are selected in a blind evaluation by a panel of judges who work outside the REIT industry and have expertise in DEI. The 2022 judges reviewed applications from companies and nominations for individuals and evaluated them based on their DEI programs, recent accomplishments, and reporting metrics, in addition to other factors. The 2022 panel of judges included:
- Latricia Boone, VP, Equality of Opportunity Initiative, US Chamber of Commerce
- Dr. Shai Butler, VP, Advancement & External Affairs, Springfield Technical Community College
- Raquel Gonzales, Chief Operating Officer, The Center for Cultural Power
- Dr. James Pogue, President & CEO, JP Enterprises, LLC
- Dr. Stacy Roberts, President, SMR Leadership Solutions
“Today we celebrate great advancements within our industry, while recognizing the work is only just beginning. Nareit believes it is crucial that REITs continue to prioritize DEI and find new solutions to meet the evolving needs of our organizations, people, and communities,” said Nareit SVP, Social Responsibility & Global Initiatives Ayris T. Scales. “Our goal with these awards is to highlight the intentional efforts of our members who are striving to advance progress and improve representation and belonging across our industry.
To learn more about Nareit’s DEI Recognition Awards and its Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative, visit here.