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The survey was distributed globally to commercial real estate professionals in December 2023, with more than 900 women participating. Questions covered global economic sentiment, barriers to career advancement, and a range of industry topics, asset classes, and disciplines.

This report provides an exploratory analysis of prevailing sentiments within the industry at the close of 2023. Below is a summary of the results, capturing the valuable insights shared by women in commercial real estate.

Executive Summary

The report reveals economic concerns among most respondents, with 19% “Very concerned” about a potential downturn coming in 2024 and 68% “Somewhat concerned” about a short/mild recession. In contrast, 13% express optimism, stating they are “Not at all concerned.”

A combined 76% express agreement with the idea of a prolonged recovery of the office asset class. Conversely, 14% anticipate swifter improvements, while the remaining 10% remain neutral. This collective sentiment indicates a cautious perspective among participants regarding the future of the office market.

Interest rates stand out as the primary concern significantly impacting the escalating costs of commercial real estate projects and deals. When asked about their top three concerns, almost two-thirds of survey respondents place rising interest rates at the top of their list, far surpassing other economic factors like wage inflation and the availability of materials.

Nearly a quarter of respondents experienced improvements in the performance of retail space in their market or portfolio in 2023, while a significant proportion (46%) reported that retail stayed about the same. Conversely, 29% noted a decrease in retail performance.

Among survey participants, 80% of women have encountered obstacles to career advancement, with 44% experiencing the ‘Broken Rung,' citing early-career barriers, and 52% experiencing a ‘Glass Ceiling,’ limiting higher-level advancement. Additionally, 25% reported facing other barriers to advancing in their commercial real estate careers.

Access the report