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The Importance of Women in Commercial Real Estate

Strong women excelling in commercial real estate is more important than ever. It has always been important, of course, but more women getting involved in the appraisal process is starting to get the recognition it deserves. Valuation magazine recently announced the launch of The Appraisal Institute Women’s Initiative Committee, and it’s an example that Valbridge is proud to stand behind.

The Valuation Women's Initiative Committee was enacted in effort to better support women in the valuation profession, much in the same way that the Valbridge Women's Council was created to do. Following, we further explore the importance of women in the CRE industry.

Women in CRE

In the past decade, there's been a 10 percent decline in the number of female CRE brokers, according to a study by the CREW Network.

That loss is troubling, especially given how few women are in the industry to start with. According to a recent NAIOP CRE Development Association Commercial Real Estate Diversity Report, there are:

- 14.1 percent women at the executive level

- 21.5 percent women at the mid level

- 29.5 percent women at the professional level

- 79.2 percent women at the clerical level

In the United States commercial real estate industry, many of the statistics on gender equity in the workplace can be discouraging. However, women are increasingly breaking gender stereotypes and stepping into historically male-dominated fields. In fact, in CRE today, many women occupy senior vice president ranks (or higher), managing director, and partner roles and are more satisfied with their career success than ever before, according to a recent benchmark study by the Commercial Real Estate Women network.

Today, women in CRE have made tremendous strides, including starting and running their own companies. In fact, the CREW study suggests that in many aspects, women have achieved equal or close-to-equal standing to men in the industry.

Welcoming the Female Ranks

Talented women who would make a stellar addition to your team might not even think of CRE or reaching out to join the team simply because they don't see enough other women in the field.

Promoting Mentorship

One of the biggest boundaries to women's advancement in the commercial real estate industry is the lack of mentorship opportunities. According to the CREW Network study, women listed a lack of access to a female mentor or role model as the number one barrier to success. Males, on the other hand, ranked the issues as fifth most important.

Do you have a formal mentoring program at your office? Explore how you can connect more appraisers with industry veterans, and try to encourage these mentoring relationships between more senior and junior women in your firm. For example, the Valbridge Women's Council provides a platform for the growth and development of Valbridge Property Advisor's professional women through mentoring and education, national recognition, networking opportunities, and other resources that provide opportunities for advancement and self-improvement.

Next Steps

Position yourself as a place that welcomes and empowers female appraisers. Spotlight the work of women who are already on your team, just as Valbridge does with its highlight of the VWC. Our vision is to empower VPA professional women for advancement, growth, and development in all facets of life.

By raising visibility of the accomplishments of women in the industry, both individuals and companies can encourage all employees -- both men and women -- to work together to advance and recruit more women to CRE.

For more information and to get an inside look at Valbridge’s way of promoting women in CRE, sign up to receive the VWC newsletter.