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The past few years have been all about growth, all about the upside. However, with all of the hiring, with all this growth, with all the opportunity, there is one very critical shortage: diversity. The real estate industry continues to lag, big time, in terms of women and minorities filling key roles, and this is true across every sector and every function.  We don’t need to consult a survey to confirm this point. Just attend any industry conference. Our industry is controlled, funded and generally populated by white men–and aging white men at that.  But there is good news. Not one search assignment is launched without the hiring manager making it clear that “we would love a diversity candidate.”  Seriously!  So, why isn’t it happening?  The reason is simple. Until the recovery that began in the mid-90s, few women and minorities were networked into jobs or pursued an educational track that focused on real estate.  What’s the solution? Time. University real estate programs today are extraordinarily diverse. We just need 10 more years to start catching up. The future looks brighter than the present.

Anthony J. LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders

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