This is a case study that's a part of the 2021 REIT Industry ESG Report, an annual report detailing the REIT industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance details in the publicly traded U.S. REIT industry. Featured case studies showcase REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors and serve as a practical tool for stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives.
Brookfield Properties has a deep commitment to DEI centered around fostering an inclusive and transparent culture with stakeholders—including communities, retailers, employees, consumers, and shareholders. The organization’s DEI approach celebrates collaboration while striving to embed diverse talent and equal representation at all levels, with a focus on creating an Inclusive Culture, Diverse Teams, and Diverse Talent Brand.
Throughout 2020, Brookfield Properties reinforced its DEI commitments through investments in its people and communities—starting with the strategic hire of a Director of Diversity and Inclusion to champion DEI internally, and expanding thereafter to include:
- Enhanced DEI resources for employees
- Refreshed new employee orientation to incorporate a stronger DEI lens
- Fielding of a company-wide DEI survey
- Creation of inclusive employee collaboration spaces, including a DEI Employee Advisory Group and Employee Resource Groups (such as a Pride Network, Military Families Group, and Women’s Advisory Group) focused on employee support and allyship
Shared Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Kathy Rugebregt, says "These internal initiatives created momentum across the company, transitioning diversity and inclusion into a frequent conversation across the organization with strong—and growing—employee engagement and participation."
"Our diversity and inclusion efforts will focus on achieving further alignment and agility with opportunities that reflect and better serve our employees while increasing productivity, engagement, and our bottom line."
Dr. Vernon Johnson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Brookfield Properties' commitment to DEI is further showcased through its community programming, including:
- Partner to Empower, a program launched in May 2021 designed to ensure the diversity of Brookfield Properties’ shopping centers reflect the local communities they serve, as well as support Black- and minority-owned businesses to increase their presence in Brookfield Properties' retail centers
- Accelerate, a rotational internship program with the City Colleges of Chicago focused on building a diverse pipeline of talent and introducing students from underserved populations to retail real estate
Brookfield Properties is poised to deepen its focus on DEI by growing and expanding these programs and initiatives in the years ahead.
Brookfield Properties develops and operates real estate investments on behalf of Brookfield Asset Management—one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world.