GBREB Internship Program Promotes Diversity in Boston Real Estate

Greater Boston Real Estate Board  pic
Greater Boston Real Estate Board

As founder and president of The MacDowell Company, Roy MacDowell is in charge of the firm’s landscape design and construction operations in New England. Also a principal at the Weston, Massachusetts-based Baystone Development, Roy MacDowell belongs to the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB).

While Boston as a whole has become increasingly diverse, the city’s real estate industry has largely maintained the same homogeneous composition: white male. To address the lack of racial and gender diversity in Boston’s commercial real estate, GBREB, in partnership with uAspire, launched an internship program designed to introduce academically gifted students from disadvantaged backgrounds to commercial real estate, or CRE.

In the summer of 2015, three college-bound students, Kiana Mendes, Zashira Arias, and Meitong Mei, completed paid internships at WinnCompanies, Colliers International, and Leggat McCall Properties, respectively, some of the city’s most prominent real estate firms.

The students, none of whom had worked in an office before, started their internships with administrative tasks such as filing but before long graduated to more complex duties. The three gained a deeper understanding of CRE, and as a result, one of them, Mendes, is strongly considering joining the industry as a professional developer.