Fisher Brothers Launches Internship Program for Minority Students 

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As part of the real estate industry’s gradual push for greater diversity, Fisher Brothers has announced a partnership with Basta: a nonprofit intended to limit the barriers of access between first-generation students of color and select career paths.

Through this collaboration, Fisher Brothers will work with Basta to design an internship program and educate students about the real estate industry.

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“As a fourth-generation family-owned business in one of the least diverse industries, Fisher Brothers recognizes our responsibility to provide opportunity to the talented and ambitious students Basta works with,” Winston Fisher, partner at Fisher Brothers, said in a statement. “Creating professional development opportunities for underserved students is critical to building a strong, diverse talent pipeline and to disrupt the status quo within the industry.”

This partnership represents Basta’s first collaboration within commercial real estate — an industry that has been slow to make strides toward widespread inclusion. As a whole, the sector remains largely homogenous, with a predominantly white demographic that is 60 percent male

Within the past year, companies like Tishman Speyer and trade group the Real Estate Board of New York have established diversity departments and positions to help change some of these statistics. Still, the industry has a ways to go. It continues to have a persistent lack of representation among people of color, the LGBTQ community and women, and the problem is compounded by a dearth of data about the diversity amongst its ranks.

Over the past five years, Basta has worked with nearly 600 college students and graduates and will help Fisher Brothers place their interns in roles in which they can succeed.

In total, Fisher Brothers will mentor four students over the course of September through December, though the program’s intent is to ultimately create long-lasting connections that will ease students beyond college and into the workforce.  

“This is the first time Basta has worked with an employer to design and deliver an internship program specifically for Basta students,” Basta founder Sheila Sarem said in a statement. “And the team at Fisher Brothers have been wonderful partners in our goal to close the employment gap by offering access to opportunities in the real estate world.”

Anna Staropoli can be reached at astaropoli@commercialobserver.com