Sam Zell has apologized for using a vulgarity to describe women in the workforce during a discussion about gender diversity and the #MeToo movement last week.
The chairman of Equity Group Investments spoke at the REITweek investor conference, and made headlines after a discussion with Steven Wechsler, CEO of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, took a turn. After saying that he promoted women based on merit, Zell added: “I don’t think there’s ever been a, ‘We gotta get more pussy on the block, OK?’”
Conference organizers sent out an email on Monday, saying that Zell, through a spokesperson, expressed regret for the remark, Bloomberg reported.
“Mr. Zell’s language was completely unacceptable and is not welcome at Nareit-sponsored events, or in our view, anywhere else,” Nareit chairman Thomas Baltimore Jr. and Wechsler said in the email. “His language does not represent Nareit’s values, nor does it represent the values of the women and men who work in the industry we represent.”
At a panel in September 2016, Zell also found himself in hot water. Interviewer Peter Linneman made racist remarks about Chinese men while the two were onstage. The two left the stage shortly thereafter. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel