Last September, Bess Freedman, the CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, attended the Asian Real Estate Association of America conference in New York City. The keynote speaker, Red Apple Group’s chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis, mentioned Dr.
Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony and Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s
Supreme Court nomination.
Catsimatidis referred to the alleged sexual assault as a “romp” between two teenagers,
36 years ago. He expressed incredulity over disqualifying someone from a job “because
they fooled around in high school” adding, “Give me a break. Where are these Democrats
To Freedman, Blasey Ford’s testimony was not about politics. And, she saw Catsimatidis’
comments as an affront on women in general.
At a nearby table, guest and speaker following Catsimatidis, Freedman stood up and
told him that he was out of line. “You don’t know the facts. Please stick to real estate!” she
told Catsimatidis before the filled room. Freedman’s view was that Catsimatidis “was not
giving any credibility to this woman who was a survivor coming forward.”
“That he felt comfortable in that space in New York City to say what he said—to not even
think it was an issue—really shocked me. To choose to not believe somebody who has the
courage to come out and say what has happened—that shows you how comfortable men
feel that they can do that,” says Freedman, explaining her actions.
BY BETSY KIM
Just How Far Have Women
Progressed in CRE?
estate are making
headway in the
industry in any
number of ways
but there are still
those pesky issues
of pay gap and