CREW Cleveland Expands CREW Network CRE Pledge for Action to Advance Women and DEI in Commercial Real Estate to Cleveland

February 28, 2022
CEOs in Cleveland Urged to Join More Than 50 Progressive-Minded Leaders Globally Already Committed to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative

Cleveland, Ohio (February 2022) – CREW Cleveland is joining with CREW Network’s global CRE Pledge for Action to expand an industry-first, CEO-driven initiative designed to advance women, and elevate actions that encourage greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. The global initiative was launched in September 2021 and has already seen more than 50 CEOs from leading CRE companies make a commitment. 

“The CREW Cleveland chapter is proud to support our global organization in this important initiative that we are confident will bring greater opportunities for women in the workplace, while creating more productive, balanced and cohesive teams at commercial real estate companies,” said Lori Crow, President CREW Cleveland. “CEOs understand they must be proactive and quickly act to address this fundamental issue in the workplace. By signing on, these progressive business leaders are pledging to take action and hold themselves and their employees responsible for implementing initiatives that advance women and DEI.”

In Cleveland, CEO Dickerson Wright of NV5/Bock & Clark has already joined the CREW Network Pledge for Action by signing on here.

A growing body of research reveals that stronger business outcomes directly correlate with diverse teams and inclusive workplaces. However, commercial real estate, an industry serving many diverse populations, has a workforce that remains predominately male and white. According to CREW Network, the leading producer of research on gender and diversity in commercial real estate, very little progress has been made in the last five years.

In commercial real estate, the COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges for women and stalled their progress in the industry. Yet it also presented new opportunities to change the industry culture and remove persistent workplace barriers. CREW Network’s latest industry research paper, A Catalyst for Change: COVID-19’s Impact on Women in Commercial Real Estate, examined the pandemic’s impact on women globally and in the industry, especially women of color.

The following insights were taken from CREW Network’s July 2021 survey of 1,018 commercial real estate professionals across more than 25 specializations and more than 10 sectors in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada:
  • 54% said they missed out on deals
  • 23% said compensation decreased
  • 78% said they were forced to leave jobs
  • 38% believe the pandemic stalled progress for women
  • 50% said their career priorities have changed
  • 70% of companies created new employee work policies as a result of the pandemic
The 2020 CREW Network Benchmark Study: Gender and Diversity in Commercial Real Estate, conducted in partnership with the MIT Center for Real Estate, had found that:
  • Women earn 10% less than men in base salaries and 56% less in commission and bonuses annually
  • Women occupy 37% of the industry
  • Women hold just 9% of C-suite positions
  • Only 16% of CRE workplaces have 25% or more staff that are from diverse backgrounds

Understanding these disparities and the lack of progress for women and all forms of diversity in commercial real estate, CREW Network is asking pledge signatories to take action, and in turn, improve performance, drive growth, and enhance employee engagement. The pledge supports the advancement of women and other individuals in underrepresented groups including but not limited to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, religion, and age. Each signatory has committed to adopt the following six goals:
  1. Partner with CREW Network to support our mission to transform the industry by advancing women and begin your efforts now to make change.
  2. Close the compensation gap in our industry by conducting a pay equity study in your company.
  3. Increase inclusion in your company through senior executive sponsorship of women and/or other individuals in underrepresented groups within the company.
  4. Advance women to your company’s top roles to achieve gender diversity in leadership.
  5. Increase diversity in your company and in the industry through intentional recruiting and hiring of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  6. Implement accountability strategies in your company to measure progress.

CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network is the premier business network dedicated to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally. CREW Network members comprise nearly 12,000 professionals in 76+ markets worldwide and represent all disciplines of commercial real estate. Learn more at