White Paper Details Gender Bias and Other Top Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate

December 15, 2016
Written by: Laura Lewis, CREW Network

“We know that bias is a major barrier for women in our industry, and our eye-opening findings demonstrate the critical need to work together to achieve gender parity – not in 100 years, but in the very near future,” CREW Network CEO Gail S. Ayers said.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Lewis, CREW Network
LauraL@crewnetwork.org

LAWRENCE, Kan. – While women are gaining ground in the male-dominated commercial real estate industry, the majority are experiencing advancement barriers including gender bias, according to the most recent white paper released by Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network. Closing the Gap: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate, CREW Network’s 10th annual white paper, reveals both statistical data and personal accounts previously unmeasured and unrecorded in the industry – and largely unaddressed.

Following the March 2016 release of the 2015 Benchmark Study Report: Women in Commercial Real Estate, CREW Network focused on digging deeper into what women considered the top barriers to success in commercial real estate, including (No. 1) the lack of a company mentor/sponsor, (No. 2) the lack of promotion opportunity and (No. 3) gender discrimination/bias.

A total of 1,019 industry professionals – both men and women – participated in the 2016 CREW Network industry research survey, which included questions about gender bias, compensation practices, mentoring and sponsorship, ageism and the aspiration gap. Key findings:

  • 65 percent of professionals surveyed have personally experienced or observed gender bias against women in their commercial real estate workplace in the last five years.
  • 55 percent have personally experienced or observed gender bias against women outside of the formal workplace in the last five years (i.e. women excluded from colleague hunting or golf trips).
  • 91 percent of respondents said they have not displayed gender bias against a woman as a hirer or manager in commercial real estate.
  • 32 percent of respondents believe the lack of support for women in the C-Suite and/or at home is the No. 1 reason for the aspiration gap; the second most popular response (26 percent) was that women believe being in the C-Suite will adversely affect their commitments and responsibilities outside of work.
  • 62 percent believe that if employers were required to share compensation information, industry pay would be more equitable.
  • 43 percent said that their company has a written diversity/inclusion policy (29 percent were unsure).

In addition, nearly 2,200 comments and open-ended responses detailed both positive (mentor success stories, supportive environments and workplace practices) and negative (blatant gender bias, unequal benefits and exclusion) experiences in commercial real estate. 

“We know that bias is a major barrier for women in our industry, and our eye-opening findings demonstrate the critical need to work together to achieve gender parity – not in 100 years, but in the very near future,” CREW Network CEO Gail S. Ayers said. “We are looking to industry leaders to take action, and CREW Network remains committed to supporting the industry as it makes this change.”

The 2016 white paper and survey findings will enhance CREW Network’s research, advocacy and program agenda for 2017 and beyond.

The white paper was written by the 2016 CREW Network Industry Research Committee and made possible by the support of CBRE, industry research premier underwriter, and Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, associate underwriter.

View the report Executive Summary and full white paper, or request a printed copy.


About CREW Network

CREW Network is the industry's premier business networking organisation dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate. CREW Network members comprise more than 10,000 professionals worldwide and represent nearly all disciplines of commercial real estate – every type of expert required to "do the deal." Follow CREW Network on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube and Instagram, and visit CREW Network at www.crewnetwork.org