Copyright: Greg Brave

Commercial real estate leaders should make mentoring and sponsorship for women a priority, consider unconscious bias, and also check for pay disparities between men and women, suggests CREW Network’s 2015 benchmark study. The MIT Center for Real Estate served as CREW’s independent research partner to conduct the study. The report - CREW’s third comprehensive study measuring pay, advancement and career satisfaction among both women and men - covers management, brokerage, development and finance in commercial real estate. NMHC is a sponsor of the report.

Marking a persistent gender wage gap in commercial real estate, the study shows that compensation is more than 23 percent greater for men than women, with brokers and developers reporting the greatest disparities. The gap increases with years of experience and is most pronounced in the C-Suite.

According to the survey, the percentage of women and men with up to five years of experience is comparable, but men advance more rapidly. Men are nearly twice as likely to hold C-Suite positions as women, although that gap is decreasing. Relationships with senior executives is the most influential factor for career advancement and the absence of an internal mentor/sponsor and lack of promotion opportunities are the greatest barriers, according to women who participated in the study. For men, lack of an undergraduate degree and wrong/poor employer choice are the greatest barriers.

Overall, the percentage of those who say they are very satisfied with their level of career success is nearly equal for men and women. However, women are less satisfied with factors they feel are most important, including job enjoyment, earnings potential and time spent with family.

Founded in 1989, CREW Network is dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate. More than 9,500 CREW Network members represent nearly every discipline within the industry and are located in over 70 major markets across North America.

NMHC is a strong supporter of CREW Network. In addition to sponsoring this critical CREW Network research, Laurie Baker, Senior Vice President of Fund and Asset Management with Camden Property Trust, is the 2016 president of CREW Network. Kim Duty, NMHC’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Industry Initiatives, is also the 2016 President Elect of CREW’s Denver chapter.

NMHC’s Diversity Initiative is a long-term commitment to promote diversity within the multifamily housing industry as a business imperative that can drive innovation and organizational success. The initiative highlights best practices, provides resources and programming, and leverages strategic alliances to help our members diversify their organizations and strengthen the industry’s pipeline for future leaders. To learn more, visit: