Why Don’t Women Get The Top CRE Jobs More Often If Research Shows You’re Better Choosing Them?
The lack of women in top positions at commercial real estate firms isn’t due to too many cutthroat leaders that are obsessed with the deal above all else. The problem also isn't a lack of strong candidates or that men are naturally better leaders.
About 36.7% of people in commercial real estate are women, according to a 2020 survey by Commercial Real Estate Women Network, a networking and advocacy group for women in commercial real estate. But women only make up 9% of C-suite roles, and across all levels they earn 34% less than men. Those statistics have remained virtually unchanged for a decade.
A 2018 Pew Research study found that women see systemic barriers much more clearly than men. Just half of men, but 70% of women, believe a major reason women are underrepresented in top positions is that they have to do more to prove themselves. The same study found that more than half of Americans (57%) believe women and men have different leadership styles, but among those that do, the majority (62%) believe it doesn’t matter in their effectiveness, and more people believe women have a better approach (22%) than men (15%).
However, some representatives of this field point to a shift in company culture that’s helping create a more supportive environment to support women working in CRE to ascend the ranks. Carly Glova, president and executive recruiter at Building Careers, said that companies that promote and publicize a better work environment, including work/life balance, with HR policies and benefits that meet a larger mission statement and value, can help women succeed in this traditionally male-dominated industry. (CREW research found numerous studies showing more gender-diverse leadership corresponds with improved financial performance.)