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The "CRE Diversity Initiative" Aims to Break Down Barriers for Minority Owners and Operators in the Commercial Real Estate Industry
BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Walker & Dunlop, Inc., in an effort to identify and remove the obstacles facing minority owners and operators in the commercial real estate industry, is launching the "CRE Diversity Initiative" in partnership with other industry leaders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Greystar, Kayne Anderson Real Estate, KKR, Pacific Life, and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. This alliance, among some of CRE's top owners, operators, and financiers, 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, representing the heavyweights of their respective sectors, seek to develop actionable solutions and strategies to create sustainable change in the CRE industry. 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.
"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 & 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."
"With a deeper understanding of the issues facing minority owners and operators, industry partners will be able to develop actionable solutions to create sustainable change and support an ongoing learning process as the industry evolves," added TJ Edwards, Managing Director of Walker & Dunlop's Proprietary Capital group. "While these problems cannot be solved overnight, this initiative represents a serious commitment to put in the work and pursue the promise of diversity and inclusion within our industry."
To support its initiative, in the coming days, Walker & Dunlop will host discussions with leading experts in commercial real estate including:
Minority-Owned CRE Firms
About Walker & Dunlop
Walker & Dunlop (NYSE: WD), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States. The company provides a comprehensive range of capital solutions for all commercial real estate asset classes, as well as investment sales brokerage services to owners of multifamily properties. Walker & Dunlop is included on the S&P SmallCap 600 Index and was ranked as one of FORTUNE Magazine's Fastest Growing Companies in 2014, 2017, and 2018. Walker & Dunlop's 1,000+ professionals in 41 offices across the nation have an unyielding commitment to client satisfaction.
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SOURCE Walker & Dunlop, Inc.