chi-jll-aon-center-lobby-sitting (2) The new style of office design is more open and welcoming, and contributes to successful recruiting of a more diverse workforce. Pictured is JLL’s two-story reception area in its global HQ in Chicago.

CHICAGO—Not so long ago, most commercial real estate firms were behind their counterparts in other industries when it came to fostering diversity. But a sea change has come over the real estate industry, and most firms have decided that to fully succeed in the modern business world, women and minorities have to play a bigger role in deal making and other operations. At the same time, a new generation has flooded the workplace, and companies need to change their use of office spaces and methods of working to attract and retain these new recruits. As a result, modern commercial real estate firms don’t resemble the companies of the past, but these changes have made it easier to succeed with clients, many of which have also put more emphasis on diversity.