EVERY TIME I DISCUSS OUR WOMEN OF
Influence feature with someone, whether it’s inside or
outside the industry, I always say I look forward to the
day we won’t need to run such content at all.
On the surface, it appears that much progress has
been made. More women are working in the industry,
enrolling in commercial real estate-specific graduate pro-
grams and speaking at industry events. Even in our Institutional Investor
roundtable, notoriously populated by men for the 20-plus years we’ve hosted
it, women comprised almost half the panel. Not to mention that the number of
nominations we receive for Women of Influence gets larger every year.
Yet digging deeper, it quickly become apparent that the progress has merely made cracks in the ceiling, not brought it down entirely. Since there’s plenty
of CRE-specific data on the pages of this issue, thanks to CREW Network’s
recent White Paper, I’ll address the trends in the broader business world.
Take a look at a few facts from the latest “Women in the Workplace” study
conducted by McKinsey and LeanIn.Org, which compiled data from more
than 130 companies and over 34,000 men and women:
•;Women remain underrepresented at every level of the corporate pipeline.
At senior levels, women often shift from line to staff roles, so very few
end up on the path to becoming CEO. In 2016, women held 46% of
entry-level positions, 37% managerial, 33% senior manager/director
titles, 29% VP roles, 24% SVP positions and just 19% of C-suite roles.
•;Men are promoted at a 30% higher rate than women during their early
career stages, and entry-level women are significantly more likely than
men to have spent five or more years in the same role.
•;Women negotiate for promotions and raises as often as men but face
more pushback when they do. Women also receive informal feedback
less frequently than men—despite asking for it as often—and have less
access to senior-level sponsors.
•;More than 75% of CEOs include gender equality in their top 10 business
priorities, but only 45% of employees think their companies are doing what
it takes to improve diversity outcomes. And though more than 70% of
firms say they are committed to diversity, less than a third of their workers
see senior leaders held accountable for improving gender outcomes.
It’s clear to see that despite the publicity, initiatives, discussion and, yes,
hype, much work remains to achieve equality. For instance, a man and
woman can start off in the same position but two years into the job—all
other things being equal—he will probably get promoted before she does.
From that point, she will most likely spend the rest of her career lagging her
colleague on the corporate chain of command. Therefore, it’s no surprise
to see fewer women in senior positions as you go higher up the ranks. One
can also see why women are likely to feel their gender impedes their success and mobility at work. And I won’t even get into the appalling income
gap, even with equivalent levels of responsibility, education and experience.
The numbers are all there, folks, and we have a problem. In a business
where we can pencil out even the toughest transactions, we should be
able to find a solution.
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