• Tue. Jun 21st, 2022

Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Commercial Real Estate

ByWillie M. Evans

Mar 18, 2022

It’s National Women’s History Month and a time to celebrate the achievements of women around the world.

It’s also a time to take stock and recognize that more work needs to be done to break those stubborn glass ceilings in the workplace.

The commercial real estate industry certainly covers both of these bases. Consider a few data points from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers, or NAREIM. The organization found that women increased their representation in C-suite real estate investment management jobs by 25% from 2017 to 2021.

Not bad. But women still hold only 15% of these jobs, NAREIM found. On the other hand, NAREIM also found that 44% of new senior executive hires were women in 2019, a very promising indicator.

The CCIM Institute, which administers the respected title of Certified Member in Commercial Investment, recently published an article by Patricia K. Lemmons in her magazine: “Over the past two decades, women have made tremendous strides in commercial real estate. For example, in 1984, only a hundred CCIMs were women. Of today’s CCIMs, more than 550, or about 13%, are women. And women are rising to leadership positions in a number of industry organizations, including the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), of which Rebecca Maccardini is the outgoing president; the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP), with Joan Woodard at the helm as president; the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), led this year by President Beverly A. Roachell, CPM; and the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute, where BK Allen, CCIM, is Senior Vice President.

Clearly, commercial real estate offers a powerful path for ambitious women. We’re seeing it all over San Antonio, with women increasingly taking on roles of influence and authority in commercial real estate – engineers, bankers, general contractors, lawyers, brokers and many other critical positions within the real estate industry. real estate ecosystem.

On Monday, our organization, the San Antonio Real Estate Council, will host a panel of three such pioneering women – Jane Feigenbaum, CEO of Metropolitan Contracting Co.; Bethany Babcock, Founder and Director of Foresite Commercial Real Estate; and Jordan Worth Arriaga, president of operations and property management at Worth & Associates. Another powerful leader is Mesha Millsap, CEO of Pearl Real Estate, which is recognized worldwide as a premier real estate development and a major destination for visitors to San Antonio. The list is long and growing.

At any local gathering of real estate professionals, it is impossible to ignore the large contingent of women in the crowd. They break stereotypes and take their place in the commercial real estate industry.

Many of us in the real estate industry are committed to ensuring that the progress made by women in San Antonio continues, because the truth is that men still hold most of the leadership positions in the industry. .

Organizations that are making a difference to advance women professionally in real estate and other industries are simply challenging themselves to think and work differently. They recognize the value of creating a culture that leverages the benefits of diversity – a culture in which women and all employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, perspectives and experiences. Diversity is good for business.

Yes, progress has been made and should be celebrated. San Antonio is absolutely brimming with opportunities for women to achieve as much as they want in real estate and many other fields. But it will be truly amazing 20, 30 and 50 years from now to celebrate the ever-increasing leadership role of women in our wonderful city’s real estate industry.

Stephanie Reyes is the CEO of the Real Estate Council of San Antonio, or RECSA, the advocate for landlords and professionals in the real estate industry.