image of Lara Di Gregorio

Lara Di Gregorio

2016 Catalyst Canada Honours Champion, Emerging Leader

Manager, Acquisitions & Asset Management , Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd.

In the conservative, male-dominated industry of commercial real estate, Lara Di Gregorio was an authentic leader committed to diversity and inclusion (D&I) who used her voice to advocate for underrepresented groups in her industry, including women and the LGBT community. Recognizing the difficulty young women face in commercial real estate, she co-founded a women’s networking group called Women in Real Estate Drinks (WiRED). Other than identifying as a woman working in the commercial real estate industry, there are no membership requirements or fees, which effectively removes all barriers to entry and thereby creates a very inclusive environment, a rarity in the sector.

As the Vice Chair, Membership Committee, in the Toronto chapter of the leading commercial real estate association, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Ms. Di Gregorio made it part of her mandate to recruit new women members and develop inclusive networking and education sessions. The group has 1,000 members in the greater Toronto area. As an outspoken LGBT ally, when employed by Jones Lang Lasalle, she founded the Canadian chapter of the organization’s LGBT ERG known as Building Pride. She also coordinated and hosted Jones Lang Lasalle’s first global Building Pride educational conference call.

Ms. Di Gregorio was committed to holding her organization’s peers and leaders accountable for acting inclusively in the workplace. She was fearless in interrupting exclusionary behavior within both the workplace and the broader industry by having challenging conversations about the need for increased diversity.


Many professional organizations within the commercial real estate industry require an application, a fee, and sometimes references to join them, and there are few such organizations specifically for women. Seeing a need, Ms. Di Gregorio and two of her industry colleagues created WiRED to provide a forum for networking and to discuss the unique challenges that women in commercial real estate face. Membership continues to increase, and WiRED has expanded its activities to include senior-level women speakers discussing their career experiences with WiRED participants. Ms. Di Gregorio and her WiRED co-founders gathered support for the initiative and engaged with corporate sponsors to fund WiRED’s activities.

Inclusive Leadership Through Courage

As a leader, Ms. Di Gregorio exhibited all of the inclusive leadership behaviors outlined in Catalyst’s EACH model: Empowerment, Accountability, Courage, and Humility. However, perhaps her most compelling inclusive leadership trait was courage. Her guiding principle was to “be the change you want to see” in the industry. It is this belief that inspired her to lead by example.

For Ms. Di Gregorio, there was no question that active, intentional, inclusive leadership is required to create change in her industry. Her passion and belief that promoting diversity is “the right thing to do” was what drove her to co-found WiRED. It is also what led her to establish the Canadian arm of Jones Lang Lasalle’s Building Pride ERG. Ms. Di Gregorio was outspoken on women’s and LGBT issues in her industry and engaged in difficult conversations even though the culture in many commercial real estate companies may not be conducive to such discussions.

About Lara Di Gregorio

Ms. Di Gregorio started her career in the real estate industry at Cushman & Wakefield as an account manager and financial analyst in the office leasing division. Prior to joining Crestpoint in 2015, she worked at LaSalle Investment Management on the asset management team and as the asset and leasing manager at a merchant developer responsible for negotiating offers and leases on a development portfolio of more than 3 million square feet. Ms. Di Gregorio earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in urban development from the University of Western Ontario and was active in multiple commercial real estate associations.

Lara Di Gregorio passed away on 22 December 2023.

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