Compared to the U.S. female employment rate of 57.4%, women make up 36.7% of the CRE workforce–though that figure is slowly increasing as women recognize the exciting and lucrative career CRE provides.
At Stream, we are committed to continuing pathways for growth and empowerment for women within our organization–providing them with mentorship and networking programs that expand their opportunities to succeed. Our inaugural Women of CRE Impact event, hosted in partnership with DRA Advisors, is one of the many steps we’ve taken.
By addressing topics important to women in the workforce, our dynamic panel of female leaders in CRE provided real-world insights and advice, followed by an intuitive conversation between Stream’s Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Bloomfield, and global thought leader, Christie’s Ambassador, and New York Times Best Selling Author Lydia Fenet.
From Challenges to Solutions
Dan Goldman, Partner at DRA Advisors, asked panelists about studies surrounding challenges for women in the workplace, such as negotiation, self-promotion, and imposter syndrome–which 75% of female executives claim to have experienced at some point throughout their careers. He also touched on differing expectations women experience as a gender and a leader.
Negotiation. Carolyn Shaw, Managing Director and Partner of Stream San Antonio, shared that she negotiates confidently because she conducts extensive research to support her position. However, her success at the negotiation table goes far beyond having in data-in-hand. It also lies in her innate ability to read the room. “Emotional intelligence is truly an advantage,” said Shaw.
Self-Promotion & Imposter Syndrome. Samantha Wallack, Partner and Co-Chair of Real Estate at Blank Rome, LLP, encouraged women to reframe their thoughts surrounding self-promotion–advocating for themselves the same way they would for others. She went on to say that imposter syndrome affects everyone–it’s just not openly discussed. Wallack encouraged women to reframe fear and intimidation as an opportunity to make challenges exciting.
Differing expectations. While panelists acknowledged that conflicting expectations might exist in some scenarios, they remained unfazed. “Sometimes I worry that by continuously talking about gender-line bias instead of just being out there, doing the work, and making an impact, we unintentionally create and perpetuate the bias we want to overcome,” said Karen Martinez, President of BRAVO! Building Services.
Opportunity. Kennedy Hicks, Executive Vice President of Investments at Cousins Properties, shared that building her career within CRE has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. “There are complexities as a woman in any industry, but it’s a great time to be a woman in CRE. It’s an exciting, fun industry, filled with wonderful people,” said Hicks.
Growing Through Authenticity
Susan Bloomfield focused her dialogue around Lydia Fenet’s ability to draw on stories from her own life to engage and deliver authenticity that helped build her personal brand and catapult her success.
Through thoughtful and humorous anecdotes and sharing from her inspiring best-seller, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You, Lydia discussed the challenges and successes she experienced in her career as a leading auctioneer—raising more than half a billion dollars for non-profits globally.
Lydia encouraged women to:
- Capture audiences through authenticity
- Exude confidence by being comfortable in their skin
- Identify and create networking opportunities because there is always someone in the room who knows more people and has more information that will broaden your horizons
- Keep a growth mindset
Most of all, Lydia encouraged women to continuously evolve by embracing next-level challenges and fostering relationships that strengthen community.
A Commitment to Diversity
Driven by our core values of smart, honest, nice, and passionate, Stream remains committed to cultivating a work culture where diverse voices truly become CRE’s greatest asset. In an industry where brick and mortar may come to mind, Stream chooses to put people first, always.
“Every individual matters.
Every individual has a role to play.
Every individual makes a difference.”