In an effort to identify and remove the obstacles facing minority owners and operators in the commercial real estate industry, Walker & Dunlop is launching the CRE Diversity Initiative in partnership with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Greystar, Kayne Anderson Real Estate, KKR, Pacific Life and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The alliance is intended to drive sustainable change across the industry.
“For too long, our industry has lacked meaningful diversity. That needs to change. Last year, Walker & Dunlop laid out concrete and ambitious goals to enhance gender and racial diversity within our company. We will hold ourselves accountable to these goals by tying long-term executive compensation to their achievement and are now broadening our focus to make a lasting impact on our industry,” said Willy Walker, chairman and CEO of Walker & Dunlop. “It is a true honor to be entering this partnership with other leaders in our industry, and this initiative will develop comprehensive solutions and strategies to deliver meaningful, industry-wide advances in diversity and inclusion.”
The industry partners seek to develop actionable solutions and strategies to create sustainable change in CRE. The initial focus of the CRE Diversity Initiative will be on learning and understanding. Walker & Dunlop is convening a roundtable with executives from minority-owned CRE firms to identify the challenges and obstacles ingrained in the industry. The forum is a critical first step to understanding what programs, products, and initiatives are needed to break down barriers, the firm said.
“When I joined Walker & Dunlop in October 2020, one of my main priorities was to work with minority borrowers who have historically struggled to gain access to capital and faced challenges and obstacles in the commercial real estate industry,” said Jason Golub, vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at Walker & Dunlop. “Through this initiative, industry leaders are committing to an open and honest dialogue to better understand the systemic issues in our industry and implement real change.”