Empowering Women in Commercial Real Estate

Do diverse and inclusive workforces correlate to stronger business performance?

There is an increasing focus around diversity, especially within the commercial real estate market given its male-dominant reputation. Studies are uncovering significant benefits from having a diverse workforce and in response, new programmes and policies are rapidly coming to market.

Diversity and equality maximises all employees’ skills and knowledge, brings new perspectives to the table and ensures everyone can fulfil their potential. ‘CEO commitments to diversity’ is a prominent platform with the objective of transforming the real estate sector into a truly inclusive, diverse industry, where women are supported and encouraged to aim for the top. Almost 90 industry leaders have already signed up showing the culture shift and genuine support across the sector to create diversity and equality.

The lack of female mentors to aspire towards has been highlighted as a key factor influencing women’s ambitions to progress. Since recognised as an issue, it has been brilliant to see the increase in news, press and noise surrounding women in the industry over recent years, highlighting career progression and celebrating key achievements.

Earlier this month, Bisnow shared four “Power Women” in commercial real estate and their top tips to progress in the sector:

  • Find a mentor and be a mentor
  • Have a diverse support group
  • Make yourself heard
  • Find people who are compelled, not just committed

Events and platforms such as these are brilliant, not only for encouraging women to progress, but by sharing tips, experience and offering guidance, will give women confidence in doing so.

It is fantastic to see women striving towards more senior roles, reducing the gender imbalance across the industry. In New York, MaryAnne Gilmartin, founder of L&L MAG, a real estate development company, has created a new business venture: “she build”. MaryAnne is currently looking to secure the capital to run a new project, from development to completion, with an all-women team to inspire and encourage women developers.

In addition to this, there are numerous schemes being run to encourage young people to pursue a career in the industry such as ‘pathway to property’ or ‘changing the face of property’.

The amount of work going in to diversify the sector – at all levels – is really encouraging. It’s great to see the commitments coming from big players in the industry, setting an example to embed new policies to futureproof the diversity of the sector.

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