Doing the Work: Initiatives That Lead to Inclusivity

This month, we were thrilled to receive the 2023 FOCUS Diversity National Award at GATHER 2023—The National Conference by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). It was an honor to be recognized for the work we’ve done at The Shop and through our social-impact programs. However, we were also grateful to have an opportunity to spark conversation within our own industry about the importance of inclusivity and diversity in real estate. 

Our clients and peers often want to know how to make a positive impact. Our process for making change started by identifying the barriers to entry within our industry—and then actively removing them. The goals of our initiatives are to create wealth for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) folks, create a pipeline of talent into our industry, and nurture talent in the industry. 

Our social-impact programs are a core part of our business ethos—learn more about these specific programs, as well as how you can get involved.

The Makers Program

So—what is the Makers Program? It is an incredible collective of BIPOC creators and small businesses. Our roster is made up of textile artists, designers, lighting experts, furniture makers, and more whose products bring a wow factor to spaces that have traditionally been filled with the same products that we are used to seeing over and over again.  We partner closely with this talent to bring Porter spaces, like The Shop, to life—and they are always available to provide their insight, expertise, and innovative thinking to our client projects as well. 

We didn’t launch our Makers Program as a charity initiative—we believe that folks don’t need to be saved. However, opportunities do need to exist in order to make space for fresh perspectives and talent. Our Makers Program was designed to level the playing field and enable underrepresented groups to succeed in the corporate real estate industry. Because when you make room for more people at the table—well, we’ve seen firsthand that they’ll take it from there. 

We invite you to join this initiative to break down barriers and transform the real estate industry. Learn more about getting involved with the Makers Program here

On the Rise

Our On the Rise program was designed to create a pathway into the commercial real estate industry for BIPOC youth from historically excluded communities. In 2022, we piloted this program with Microsoft and CBRE, providing underserved youth with opportunities to take classes in design, project management, and technical trades. For nine weeks, our On the Rise students learn new skills, network, and gain confidence, ultimately reversing some of the traditional gatekeeping we have witnessed in the industry. 

Interested in learning more about On the Rise, becoming a volunteer, or joining the program? Help us make an impact here. 

Emerging Leaders

Hosted by LaVonne Dorsey, our six-month Emerging Leaders program invites professional young women in commercial real estate to take part in roundtable discussions. This experience fosters vulnerable conversations that lead to strong, lasting connections. Our participants succeed and grow professionally while taking part in an ongoing network of peers and alumni who support each other long after the program ends. There is strength in community, and Emerging Leaders doesn’t just inspire but brings people together and creates a sense of belonging within the industry. 

Interested in joining an upcoming cohort? Learn more about Emerging Leaders here

The Shop: Where our vision comes to life

Our space, The Shop, is where you can visit and see Porter values in action. The Shop embodies our philosophy of radical hospitality—creating an environment where every need is met and every visitor feels like they belong. 

Our community comes to The Shop to work, play, socialize, learn, relax, and more. It’s a safe space that can hold a multitude of experiences while honoring the local community’s culture, values, and traditions. 

The Shop is a concept that feels innovative, unique, and creative—and that is because diversity and inclusion are at the core of everything we do. It is a reflection of our social-impact programs, as well as the unbelievably talented people who make it run. Visit The Shop to meet our community, see our ethos at work, and browse our Makers Program collections.