On April 28, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), in collaboration with the Coro New York Leadership Center, announced the creation of the REBNY Fellows, the first-of-its-kind leadership program for real estate professionals of diverse backgrounds.
“New York City embraces and celebrates diversity like no other city in the world,” said REBNY President James Whelan, “but the many benefits of diversity are only realized when you also embrace and facilitate broad-based inclusion. The REBNY Fellows Program will provide a more inclusive pathway to exciting and impactful careers in real estate for some of New York’s top diverse talent.”
REBNY’s partner in the new project, the Coro New York Leadership Center, is a civic leadership training program for students, executives, activists and entrepreneurs whose mission is “to build a leadership community that represents the full diversity of New York City,” said Coro Executive Director Scott Millstein. “For this reason, we are proud to partner with REBNY on this initiative to support future leaders for the sector. The challenges facing our city in the coming years are immense, but we know that great leadership arises from collaborative solutions informed by multiple perspectives. We hope this program will be a small part of the roles we must all play to help New York City recover and become the best version of itself for all who live and work here.
The Fellows Program taps 20 rising real estate leaders from diverse backgrounds "for a high-impact, 6-month training program focused on further developing the leadership skills needed to solve complex challenges, assess multiple perspectives and collaborate effectively. The program will provide networking opportunities along with advocacy and civic leadership training. Participants will walk away with additional knowledge and skills and a lifelong professional network that will provide a road map to continued success in the real estate industry."
According to the press release announcing the launch of the program, “REBNY is committed to advancing efforts that help attract, retain and advance women, people of color, and others from diverse backgrounds in the real estate industry. The...Fellows Program aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive real estate industry by creating and cultivating a pipeline for rising leaders of diverse backgrounds within the industry.”
While the Fellows initiative is new, diversity and inclusivity have long been on REBNY’s radar; the group has collaborated with the City University of New York (CUNY) to assemble career panels focusing on pathways to leadership roles in real estate, and in 2019 launched an internship program in coordination with Ladders for Leaders – an initiative of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), supported by the NYC Center for Youth Employment and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City – that placed over 50 young adults in paid summer internships at leading real estate firms. REBNY also partners with Building Skills NY to connect underemployed New Yorkers with jobs and training in the construction industry; since its launch in 2016, that program has helped more than 800 individuals access new career pathways. Many of these initiatives are helmed or supported by REBNY’s Diversity Committee, which according to the organization, “works to create professional opportunities and improve and promote the diversity of the trade association’s membership and the real estate industry at large.”
For more information about REBNY’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, check out www.rebny.com.