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For measuring commercial real estate progress for women in the industry, a recent study found that though the income differences between men and women are shrinking, a significant income gap still exists. Last year, the median total annual compensation, including bonuses, compensation and profit sharing, was $150,000 for men and $115,000 for women in commercial real estate, according to CREW Network.

This latest report is from the release of a third comprehensive benchmark study, CREW Network. CREW Network has measured women’s progress in commercial real estate for more than 10 years. The project has been supported by CBRE, premier underwriter of the 2005, 2010 and 2015 reports.

According to the findings, the income gap widens with years of experience and position, with the difference most pronounced between women and men in the C-Suite and within the brokerage and development specializations. In the C-Suite positions, men continue to outnumber women (17% of men surveyed versus 9% of women).

However, women today in commercial real estate are closer to the C-Suite than ever. The study showed that more senior-level or higher roles were filled by women in 2015, with the exception of Brokerage/Sales/Leasing.

In 2015 the percentage of women with direct reports was equal to that of men. While men’s direct reports were evenly split on the basis of gender, 62% of the direct reports to women managers were also women, according to the study.

The report also indicated that between 2010 and 2015, gains were also reported for women in their satisfaction with work/life balance in their lives. For men, responses regarding work/life balance have generally remained constant since 2005. Overall, women are less satisfied than men with the job factors they consider most important, including job enjoyment, time spent with family, and maximizing earnings potential, the study revealed.

In summary, the largest inequalities are found with the income gap and the low numbers of women in C-Suite positions. The report also showed that negotiation skills remain important in the industry, however there was a new finding suggesting that action is required at the corporate management level to address the persistent bias against female advancement.

It is important for us in the commercial real estate industry to continue to support women in our space, by bringing awareness to the opportunities available in the field. Be sure to support fellow peers and newcomers to this sector, as the first years can be challenging for anyone. There are local universities and businesses within the community which also take pro-active approaches. There are also national and larger commerical real esate firms which offer support to women.

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