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Diversity & Inclusion Case Study
LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship for Black and Latinx Minorities was created by LaSalle Investment Management with the express objective of providing commercial real estate exposure and experience to qualified Black and Latino college students.
As one of the world’s leading real estate investment managers, we strongly believe that racial and all other forms of diversity, at all levels of the organization, make us a better firm. We recognize the need to give back to the communities we invest and live in. Over the last several years, we have made a concerted effort to listen, engage in dialogue and lead by example to provide more opportunities to a broader, more diverse group of individuals. But the civil unrest and advocacy surrounding the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others served as a catalyst to accelerate our focus on the importance of racial equality.
As a whole, the real estate and financial services industry has lagged its peers, but at LaSalle we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of positive, meaningful change in the diverse makeup of our industry.
The LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship for Black and Latino/a Minorities was created by LaSalle Investment Management with the express objective of providing commercial real estate exposure and experience to qualified Black and Latinx college students. The scholarship program spans multiple colleges and universities, and includes individual student annual scholarships of $10,000.
The program was the idea of two LaSalle employees, one in the Asset Management group and the other a Portfolio Manager. Together, prompted by the civil unrest during the summer of 2020, the two employees recognized a need to further develop diverse talent within the real estate industry. Executive leadership agreed, and just weeks later, LaSalle made a $500,000, 5-year commitment to provide minority students the opportunity to learn about real estate and get tuition assistance.
In its inaugural year, the scholarship will be available to students at four partner schools, three of which are historically black colleges and universities:
- Florida A&M University
- Morehouse College
- Roosevelt University
- Spelman College
In the coming years, we expect to broaden our partnership to as many as 10 colleges and universities around the country.
To be eligible for the LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship for Black and Latino/a Minorities, an individual must be a rising sophomore of Black / African American origin or Hispanic / Latino origin. The scholarship is open to all majors.
Students receiving the scholarship must complete three requirements:
- Maintain 3.0 GPA
- Attend four quarterly LaSalle Investment Management meetings (online)
- Participate in the LaSalle mentorship program with a quarterly one-on-one meeting.
Goals and outcomes
While the program is still in its early stages, there are several goals that are driving our actions, and some outcomes have been realized already.
- Early exposure: One of the main goals of this program is to provide Black and Latinx students early exposure to the field of real estate. It’s an exciting field with a lot to offer, but it has typically been viewed as inaccessible to minorities because it required a “foot in the door,” often through family connections. By getting students exposed to the industry while they are still in the academic phase of their life, we feel there is a better opportunity for them to pursue a lifelong career, hopefully with LaSalle.
- Mentorship: We carefully match each award recipient with a senior level LaSalle employee who lives in the same market as the school the student attends. Students will be given a Real Estate 101 course by their mentor, attend an investment committee meeting and a quarterly townhall, and (circumstances permitting) go on a property tour and meet with their mentor quarterly. This mentorship will provide these students a “foot in the door” and allow them to gain access to the industry through some of its leading professionals.
- Internship: Award recipients will also be eligible for a prestigious internship with LaSalle. Interviews will be guaranteed for all recipients who apply but only one guaranteed internship opportunity will be available. Those who do get chosen will have an opportunity for hands-on experience with one of the world’s leading real estate investment managers, and the potential for full-time employment with LaSalle upon graduation.
- Expanded recruitment pipeline: While we’ve historically sought to improve diversity in our talent pipeline by recruiting at top real estate schools throughout the country, our partnership with new colleges and universities through the scholarship has opened new avenues for recruitment. Already, our recruiting team has seen a more diverse set of candidates as a result of students applying to positions after hearing about LaSalle’s involvement with the scholarship. We expect this to continue as we broaden from four schools to 10 schools in the coming years.
- Cornerstone of broader efforts: Through the executive and firm-level buy-in of this program, we have already been able to affect change. Moving forward, the LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship for Black and Latino/a student will serve as a cornerstone for broader, more global efforts to increase diversity and inclusion throughout not only our firm, but the industry at large.
We currently do not conduct graduate recruitment programs in Asia Pacific, but we are always looking to hire experienced real estate professionals. Please view our open positions by visiting the job search page.