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Accelerating the Advancement of Women in CRE

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Businesses benefit by having more women in senior leadership roles, yet women remain underrepresented in all facets of commercial real estate leadership. That is according to Commercial Real Estate Women Network’s latest industry research white paper.

The paper, “Accelerating the Advancement of Women in Commercial Real Estate,” examines three areas where women continue to be underrepresented in the industry—the talent pipeline; senior executive leadership; and at the corporate board level—and presents an action guide to advance women in each of these critical career areas. The publication also identifies the unique barriers women of color face in advancing, and strategies to ensure all women have equal access to opportunities, equal pay, and recognition.

“Research shows that companies that advance more women and people of color have greater financial outcomes, stronger corporate cultures, greater innovation and market growth,” CREW Network CEO Wendy Mann said. “Gender equity and diversity and inclusion are business imperatives; however, most commercial real estate companies are way behind the mark. Now is the time to prioritize diversity as a key strategy for driving growth and commit to making a change—and it starts from the top. Understanding and implementing intentional tactics noted in our white paper will deliver greater financial results and ensure your company attracts and retains top talent.”

The white paper presents global and industry-wide research findings, company best practices, and first-person insight from women leaders and male CEOs and top executives in commercial real estate, including Capital One, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield and Lincoln Property Group.

Key statistics in the white paper drawn from global business research:

  • Companies in the top 25% for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians
  • Companies in the top 25% for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have higher returns
  • Innovation is six times higher at companies with the most equal workplace cultures
  • Changing board composition to include 30% female representation could add up to six percentage points to a company’s net margin
  • In 2018, more than half of new women directors joined boards that had increased in size

Key statistics from CREW Network industry research:

  • In Canada and the U.S., approximately 73% of real estate related degrees (undergraduate and graduate) are obtained by men
  • Women in commercial real estate hold approximately:
  • 54% of mid-level associate and senior positions
  • 27% of SVP, managing director and partner level positions
  • 9% of C-suite positions
  • Women in commercial real estate earn 23.3% less than men
  • 1 in 5 women say that family or marital status has adversely impacted their career or compensation

“We applaud CREW Network for creating this important piece of research and were happy to play a role, given that Capital One also sees diversity and inclusion as an imperative,” said Carolyn McCarty, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Capital One Commercial Bank, which supported the white paper as an Industry Research Program Partner for 2019. “Creating paths to leadership and success for women, and all people, in this dynamic industry will allow us to better serve our customers. It’s exciting to see strategies and tactics made available to help further this goal.”

CREW Network, the leading producer of research on women in commercial real estate, develops white papers annually and publishes a benchmark study every five years to provide valuable industry data and insights focused on gender equity and diversity and inclusion. The 2019 white paper was developed by the CREW Network Industry Research Committee with support from Industry Research Program Partner Capital One.

Check out the full lineup of speakers at the upcoming CREW Network Convention and Marketplace held September 25th at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld where more than 1,200 CRE leaders are expected to attend.

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About The Author
Todd Hughes

Todd specializes in sales and leasing of single and multi-tenant industrial buildings which include warehousing, logistics, manufacturing, distribution, and research and development in Southern California’s “Mid Counties”