Corporate America’s diversity problem is well-established. The disparities in the real estate industry, which controls the levers of how entire communities are shaped, are particularly glaring.
Commercial real estate is the “least diverse industry on the planet,” according to the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, the industry’s own trade association. White people hold 89% of senior executive jobs in the field, compared to less than 2% held by Black people.
Even among real estate-focused community development corporations, which develop residential and commercial real estate in low-income communities and often communities of color, the numbers are still stark: 84% of CDCs are led by executive directors who are white, according to NeighborWorks America. Meanwhile, Black people make up nearly half of those living in federally financed affordable homes.