During the “REEC Trade Association Diversity Partners” session at the Real Estate Executive Council’s (REEC) 2021 Fall Virtual Conference, Nareit Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs and Social Responsibility Nathaalie Carey discussed Nareit’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
The panel, moderated by REEC CEO Ken McIntyre, featured DEI specialists from several real estate trade associations including:
- Betsy Feigin Befus, senior vice president, general counsel and strategic initiatives, National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC);
- Sonia Huntley, senior vice president, diversity, equity, and inclusion, Urban Land Institute; and,
- Marc Selvitelli, executive vice president and chief operating officer, National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP).
“When I began at Nareit a little over a year ago, I was tasked with creating and implementing a DEI strategy that was reflective of our stakeholders,” said Carey. This was done by meeting with REIT CEOs to examine their DEI successes and where they see the need for improvement.
The strategy developed from these meetings aims to increase the REIT industry’s visibility and appeal to diverse talent and vendors through a focus on three pillars: people, partnerships, and philanthropy.
One topic the panel touched on multiple times is the importance of prioritizing a pipeline from universities to entry-level positions in the commercial real estate industry. Carey discussed Nareit’s partnership with the Urban Land Institute as well as Fannie Mae’s Future Housing Leaders Program to launch the Foundations: REIT and Commercial Real Estate internship program. This one-of-a-kind internship program provides education, training, a paid 10-week internship, and a path to employment for nearly 50 college students from diverse backgrounds.
Learn more about Nareit’s DEI strategy and DEI in the REIT industry here.