Excellence in DEI: The RMR Group

April 2, 2024 | By: CRE Insight Journal

The RMR Group received the 2023 Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award from CRE Insight Journal. The award recognizes a real estate company that has displayed excellence in fostering DEI within its organization. Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, RMR is a leading U.S. alternative asset management company, unique for its focus on commercial real estate (CRE) and related businesses.  

Attracting Diverse Talent

The RMR Group (Nasdaq: RMR) aims to attract more diverse talent to RMR and the CRE industry through intentional outreach to groups historically underrepresented in CRE.  

“RMR recognizes that there is a pool of talent out there that is smart, eager and enthusiastic about the business,” explained Nikkia Russell, a Director with The RMR Group.  

Since 2022, RMR has worked with Project Destined, an experiential real estate–focused learning program serving students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in CRE. Over 10 weeks, RMR employees mentor 20 college students in technical, financial and leadership skills to prepare them for a live pitch competition judged by senior leaders from participating organizations.  RMR has mentored student cohorts in Boston, Atlanta and Washington, DC.  

Additionally, RMR’s 10-week Analyst Accelerator Internship Program is a conduit for long-term roles, providing diverse candidates with hands-on experience and exposure to CRE. Two program graduates are now working in permanent positions at RMR following their internships. 

RMR monitors the impact of these programs on their employee culture and composition. Through RMR’s efforts, they have seen an increase in both people of color and women joining their company.  Another tool RMR utilizes to track progress is their annual employee engagement survey. The results of this survey show that 88 percent of employees report feeling included at RMR. The responses also show that employees feel they have managers who are invested in their growth. Additionally, 92 percent of employees say that RMR lives up to its values and integrity as a company.  

Developing Leaders 

RMR takes both an internal and external approach to leadership development. RMR was recognized as one of The Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work for the fourth consecutive year, reflecting the organization’s dedication to inclusion.  

“We believe that all people need to be supported by a manager who not only knows how to set clear expectations but also understands that individual and motivates them to grow,” explained Annette Fionda, Senior Director of Inclusion and Engagement at The RMR Group.  

RMR’s Accelerated Women in Leadership Program (AWLP) offers a targeted learning experience that helps women strengthen their impact and grow professionally and personally. Since AWLP’s inception, more than 80 women have completed the program and 20 alumnae have received promotions, including two to officer level.    

RMR has sponsored a number of rising leaders in external leadership education programs focused on preparing people of color for senior leadership roles, including The Partnership, Inc.’s Next Generation Executives program, which is tailored to developing executives of color. 

Impacting Communities

Another key RMR DEI initiative is community outreach. Every year since 2017, the Human Resources team at RMR has coordinated employees from more than 30 offices gathering across the country to volunteer at local organizations.  In June 2023, 521 volunteers donated more than 1,500 hours to 37 organizations across 18 states. RMR takes the opportunity to identify local organizations during their annual Community Service Day to explore new avenues to help their community. One example of this is their support of the Atlanta Food Bank, which receives over nine million pounds a day of donated food for distribution to non-profits across the state. RMR also provides support to Choices, which provides basic necessities to underserved communities. RMR volunteers will spend their time organizing bins for distribution to families in need.  

Additionally, sponsorship of programs like Project Destined and Project REAP allow The RMR Group to make a more focused impact on the real estate industry. Project Destined introduces students at historically black colleges and universities and other public colleges and universities with diverse student populations to the CRE industry. Project REAP is a 10-week program for early career professionals, specifically focused on diversifying the real estate industry’s talent pipeline.  

“We understand that the industry is changing, and we want to be an example of that change,” added Nikkia. 

Through multi-approach leadership development programs, intentional talent recruiting, community outreach and working to elevate opportunities for historically underrepresented groups within commercial real estate, The RMR Group has received the 2023 Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Award from CRE Insight Journal. 


Commercial Real Estate Insight Journal is the leading, on-demand resource for real estate professionals. It features a rapidly growing collection of real estate industry insight recorded in articles, webinars, publications, and videos. The CRE Insight Journal Awards program recognizes excellence in the real estate industry in areas such as tenant care; environmental sustainability; collaborative service; thought leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and more. 

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