Data to enable informed discussion of diversity

Monday, June 6, 2016

An exploration of the Canadian real estate industry’s demographics and attitudes to diversity is now underway with the logical first step: data collection. Beginning last week, approximately 12,000 real estate professionals were asked to confidentially share information about their gender, ethnicity, orientation, position title, salary and the inclusiveness of their workplaces. Responses will be collected via digital survey until June 30.

Two leading providers of real estate talent and professional development have joined forces in the effort. Human resources expert, Matrix Search Group, has devised the survey and will analyze the results, while conference and exhibition producer, Informa Canada, is assisting with outreach to the industry.

“No one has actually collected this information in Canada,” says Chandran Fernando, principal of Matrix. “It’s really an attempt to get the information we need to start an educated discussion about the demographics behind corporate real estate. Because real estate is all about the numbers and communities.”

“We felt this was a very important metric to quantify,” concurs Sarah Segal, a director with Informa. “The industry is now very interested in the issue of diversity.”

The survey, which takes about five minutes to complete, is envisioned as a “snowball” as individual respondents and industry organizations urge their peers and members to share insight. Fernando reports a 40 per cent response rate to the first round of e-mail distribution, including significant representation from senior real estate executives.

Employees in a sweeping range of disciplines — property management, investment, development, leasing and professional services for the real estate industry — are invited to participate. (For more information, contact Once results are tabulated, a summary report will be released to further prompt an informed discussion of diversity in industry workplaces.

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