This case study was published in the 2022 REIT Industry ESG Report, which details the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance and features 32 case studies showcasing REIT leadership and ESG innovation from a variety of sectors. The report serves as a practical tool for shareholders and stakeholders to assess the scale and impact of the REIT industry's ESG commitments and initiatives. Applicable footnotes and/or citations for this case study are available in the full report.
Formalizing Long-Term DEI Efforts to Ensure Equitable Practices for Current and Future Associates
As the first REIT to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ Pledge, and an early adopter of a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) council established over 20 years ago, Duke Realty Corporation has long understood the value of promoting the education, awareness, and advocacy of DEI. Over the past several years, Duke Realty has refreshed its efforts to provide every one of its associates with the opportunity to achieve their full potential by promoting diversity in leadership, ensuring equitable treatment of all staff, and building a pipeline of diverse talent through inclusive hiring practices.
Diversity in Leadership
Duke Realty is committed to maintaining the gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of its directors with 55% of its board currently consisting of women or diverse, independent members. Internally, its talent pipeline and mentorship programs have allowed the company to identify experienced, high- performing associates for leadership development. In 2021, 52% of Duke Realty’s top- and mid-level new hires were women or people of color.
Pay equity has long been important to Duke Realty, and the company’s human resources team embeds checkpoints throughout the year to keep pay equity top-of-mind. In fact, Duke Realty reviews pay equity several times during the year—when hiring a new employee, at mid-year, at talent review sessions, and at year-end. Recently, the company advanced its pay equity strategy by hiring a third-party provider to analyze both gender and minority pay, ensuring that the results were verified by an external, unbiased consultant. Furthermore, to collect feedback on the company’s DEI efforts and identify areas for improvement, Duke Realty conducts associate pulse surveys. In 2021, the company implemented its first survey specifically for minority associates.
To promote diversity in the industry and foster a more robust, diverse pipeline of talent, Duke Realty participates in educational programs and offers scholarships for diverse young people. For six years, the company has volunteered for the STEM YES! Summer Program, which provides high school students with science-, technology-, engineering-, and mathematics-related activities and projects. Duke Realty also partners with Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate in Chicago, through which the company offers mentoring and internship opportunities as well as the DREAM (Duke Realty Fund for Education and Advancement of Minorities) Scholarship. To ensure inclusivity in hiring, the company mandates that hiring managers bring in a diverse slate of candidates and use an interview panel consisting of diverse associates for mid- to senior-level candidates.
“As a woman of color, looking for a company where I could start my career, I had an opportunity to intern at Duke Realty. Not only did I gain valuable experience and develop trusting relationships in the real estate industry, I found a culture of inclusion where I felt that I belonged and could build a career. This is a company that makes DEI a priority and shows it in how business is conducted and in the value it places on its diverse associates.”
-Natalie Tyler-Martin, Vice President of Leasing and Development, Duke Realty Corporation
Duke Realty continues to elevate its talented diverse associates and allows them to share their knowledge and experience through mentorship, industry speaking engagements, trade organization leadership roles, and recognition of their value to the company and the industry.
Duke Realty Corporation, a component of the S&P 500, is a leading owner, developer, and manager of industrial properties, including state-of-the-art bulk warehouses and regional distribution centers.