As part of our continued commitment to our industry and the Las Vegas community we have established a scholarship at UNLV that provides financial support for students of diverse backgrounds who are pursuing degrees in real estate. We’ve already awarded the first round of scholarship and encourage applications for the second round of scholarships, which will open December 1, 2021 for the 2022-2023 academic year.
“I recognize that leadership in real estate, like so many other industries, is lacking diversity,” said Matter Partner Jim Stuart. “Innovation comes from unique perspectives and there is vast talent here within our own community. We are grateful to be working with UNLV to identify and invest in students with diverse backgrounds who will introduce new ways of thinking and make our industry better.”
The UnCommons Opportunity Scholarship Fund will be awarded each semester to students of unique cultural backgrounds studying real estate. The scholarships support students’ pursuit of real estate careers and will bolster the community of Las Vegas real estate professionals.
We are thrilled to partner with UNLV on this and applaud them for their recent recognition as the most diverse campus in the country for undergraduate studies according to statistics reported by US News & World Report in September 2021. Their continued commitment to diversity has led them to be ranked in the top 10 in this category since the ranking began more than a decade ago, three times topping the list. Currently, more than 65% of undergraduates at the university identify as a racial or ethnic minority. Our scholarship will help to advance this mission and allow students to better focus on their studies and community involvement by easing the financial burden.
We have awarded scholarships to three exceptional students for the Fall 2021 semester who intend to use their real estate studies in the future. Their areas of study include urban economics, finance and real estate. One student has served four years of active duty in the Air Force and hopes to use his degree to expand his personal real estate portfolio while continuing to serve as a financial analyst on an Air Force base. Another student, from Minden, Nevada is the first in her family to attend college and plans to apply her knowledge to build a residential portfolio.
At Matter we are proud of our women leaders and also recognize the need to keep pushing for advancement throughout the industry. The need for more gender diversity in real estate has been detailed in a 2018 study by the National Associate of Realtors, which found that women make up only 30% of commercial realtors and 41% of residential brokers with over 20 years of experience despite over 70% of residential sales agents being women. According to a 2020 Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) study, 32% of women, 4% more than in 2015, are aspiring to achieve a position in the C-suite. Currently only 9% of C-suite holders in commercial real estate are women.
While these numbers suggest a positive trend, some areas remain stagnant. Women make up 37% of the commercial real estate industry, which hasn’t significantly improved since 2005. At Matter, we are proud that 50% of our team are women. Additionally, the women who are in the industry make less on average than their male counterparts. In 2020, the fixed salary gap between genders was 10.2%, yet it was 20% in development. Even more disheartening, the commission and bonus gap was 55.9%, the development gap was 65%, and the brokerage gap was 70%.
“I feel honored and extremely privileged to accept this award,” said one scholarship recipient. “This scholarship will ease a great stress in my life and allow me to focus on excelling in my studies. It feels amazing to know I have support from such an altruistic community and that I am not alone on my journey. As I complete my time at UNLV, I will not forget this selfless token and will be sure to pass along kindness in any capacity that I am able.”
Is there a UNLV student in your life who might fit this bill? We invite them to apply! Eligible students must have already declared a real estate major or have intention to do so, be full time students at UNLV, and have a collegiate grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Special consideration will be given to students who have demonstrated experience in, or commitment to, working with historically underserved or underprivileged populations. Preference will be given to individuals who have overcome substantial educational or economic obstacles. Interested students who want to learn more or apply can visit the Lee Business School scholarship page or contact the Lied Center for Real Estate within the LEE Business School.