Diversity among Directors and Executives in Canada’s Real Estate Industry

  • October 30, 2021
  • Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Commercial real estate is an industry that is often viewed as lacking in diversity. Progress both before and after 2020 can best be described as incremental, but steps are being taken to move the needle forward.

Setting targets for change

In Canada, the Commercial Real Estate Equity and Diversity Council was recently formed to help diverse communities remove systemic barriers. Along with developing a mentoring program, the council will be encouraging companies to develop and implement diversity principles and to set targets for instituting change. The organization plans to be a resource for companies wanting to get started with a diversity program.

In 2020, the Ontario Real Estate Council created a Presidential Advisory Group to help create an action plan to eliminate racism and promote inclusion. A key focus is on encouraging more diversity and inclusion in leadership at brokerage and board association levels.

The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) Toronto chapter is committed to increasing the number of women in leadership roles in the real estate industry. WLI was established in 2011 as a global program and has 40+ chapters in eight countries. This organization has an important role to play in furthering women in leadership positions.