MAUREEN A. EHRENBERG
As president of JLL’s global integrated
facilities management division,
Maureen Ehrenberg provides the strategic direction, global investment priorities and vision for the business. Her
international facilities management
and global product teams are responsible for the integrated service delivery to over 1 billion square feet of
managed facilities in the Americas
and a combined global portfolio in
excess of 1. 5 billion square feet.
Ehrenberg is the immediate past chair of the global board of the
International Facilities Management Association and a current
board member. Ehrenberg, in fact, is active in a number of associations including the Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate,
the Real Estate Advisory Board and the Executive Women in
Corporate Real Estate, among many others, and is also is a fellow of
the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
After 30 years in the business, Ehrenberg’s view of CRE is that it
is an industry in flux. The traditional lines between capital markets,
valuation, investment, brokerage, property and facility management and project management are blurring, she says. “What this
implies for women in CRE is that the traditional skill sets historically required to be successful are shifting, as are the career opportunities and success metrics.” Her advice: Be open to change, think
about new operating models and what the potential impact could
be to disrupt traditional CRE models.
For the past 30 years, Char Fortune
has been considered a trailblazer for
women in the real estate business.
She achieved icon status in the
Southeast CRE community, holding
positions of escalating responsibility
at such firms as Carter, CBRE, Beacon
Properties, Cushman & Wakefield,
Trammell Crow and Grubb & Ellis.
In 2010, Avison Young CEO Mark
Rose recruited Fortune to be a principal and director of Learning and
Professional Development and to develop the learning program for
the entire firm. It was an inflection point for Fortune: while she had
spent a considerable amount of time over her career teaching, mentoring and developing colleagues, she now wanted to dedicate the
remainder of her working time to giving back to the industry that
had given her so much.
She joined Avison Young in its Atlanta office, just as the firm was
being established in the US, designing Avison Young University
with a mix of online and in person classes and programs that would
best meet the needs of the rapidly growing firm. She also built an
Emerging Leaders program, which now has more than 300 participants. From that group, over 30 have become principals of the firm
in the past eight years.
A particular point of pride: Avison Young’s executive leadership
is 45% diverse and has been for years. But as she looks around the
larger industry, Fortune sometimes shakes her head at the lack of
diversity, though she notes that change is gaining momentum.
After more than two decades with
Forest City Ratner Cos., Gilmartin co-founded L&L MAG, a development
company with industry veterans
David Levinson and Robert Lapidus
of L&L Holding Co. As CEO of the
New York City-based company, she is
pursuing opportunities across the
commercial, residential, retail, entertainment and cultural sectors. Yet
L&L MAG is not just another developer entering New York’s busy CRE
Yet that designation isn’t foreign to Gilmartin. As CEO of Forest
City Ratner, managed a multimillion-square-foot portfolio and
spearheaded some of the city’s most transformative projects, including the New York Times Building, New York by Gehry and Barclays
Center, the centerpiece of the $4.9-billion, 22-acre mixed-use Pacific
Park Brooklyn development. Her many successes led the Real Estate
Board of New York to award her with its prestigious Bernard H.
Mendik Lifetime Leadership in Real Estate Award last year.
Gilmartin hopes to see more women enter the industry, which
she says also needs greater disruption in the innovation economy.
“This disruption needs to take place on the talent fronts.” We must
“demand our industry be more inclusive, democratic and merit-based to ensure we look like the communities within which we
invest and build.”
DEBORAH L. HARMON
Some 10 years ago now-CEO Deborah
Harmon set out to found her own
real estate private equity firm. She
sought the wisdom of women who
had gone before her yet found that
among hundreds of real estate private equity funds, none were majority
women-owned. With a co-founder
and partner in Penny Pritzker,
Harmon set out to launch the industry’s first women-owned real estate
private equity fund—Artemis Real
Today in Washington, DC-based Artemis, which invests across
the CRE asset and risk spectrum, remains majority women-owned;
minorities and women comprise 55% of its employees. Since its
inception in 2009, the firm has raised nearly $4 billion of capital.
Now in her 36th year in the CRE business, Harmon is currently
serving as chairperson of the Pension Real Estate Association
Foundation, which raised $11.2 million last year to endow a new
partnership with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. The funds
went toward creating the first-ever real estate track at SEO with the
goal of increasing the diversity of entry-level talent. The program has
so far placed 47 interns with 33 partner firms, significantly exceeding
its original goal of 25. Harmon is also a trustee of ULI, is on the
board and executive committee for Women for Women International,
and was appointed by former President Obama to serve as a commissioner for the White House Fellows program.