Momentum grows to tackle racism, inclusion issues in CRE

posted on January 13, 2021

January 5, 2021

By Steve McLean, Real Estate News Exchange (RENX)

REALPAC — in partnership with BOMA Toronto, CoreNet Global Canadian Chapter, NAIOP Greater Toronto Chapter, SIOR Canada Central Chapter, Toronto CREW and ULI Toronto — is presenting a multi-series, KingSett Capital-sponsored program on racism and exclusion in the workplace that aims to help members of the Canadian commercial real estate industry understand, address and dismantle systemic racism.

A Dec. 17 webinar — introduced by KingSett chief operating officer Anna Kennedy, moderated by REALPAC chief executive officer Michael Brooks and featuring a five-person panel — focused on the Black Opportunity Fund, the BlackNorth Initiative and actions that can be taken by companies to advance the cause.

“We understand that transforming this system of inequality in our workplaces is not something that can happen overnight,” said Kennedy. “We recognize the need, as an organization, to not just contribute but to champion the fight against systemic inequalities in the workplace as well as our wider communities.”

Brooks followed up by quoting some statistics to offer perspective.
People of colour represented 22 per cent of the Canadian workforce in 2016, which is expected to increase to 36 per cent by 2036, according to Statistics Canada. Brooks also quoted a 33 per cent unemployment rate for youth of colour compared to 18 per cent for white youth.

REALPAC’s 2020 compensation study, which was expanded to include diversity data and featured more than 50 commercial real estate respondents, indicated:
* 14 per cent of companies had a diversity and inclusion program;
* three per cent of companies had a dedicated diversity and inclusion budget;
* four per cent of companies that had addressed diversity and inclusion used consulting services to develop their programs;
* 23 per cent of companies believed their diversity and inclusiveness efforts were reasonably effective.

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