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Although women have come a long way in the industry, including the seven elected as NAR Presidents, the facts remain sobering.
According to NAR, only 36.7 percent of commercial agents are women, women are less represented in leadership roles (in real estate) than men, and a woman’s compensation, whether it be her commission or salary, is not equal to her male counterparts.
According to The Zebra, “In 2020, women brokers and sales agents made 69 cents to a man’s dollar for the same job. This gap is narrowed to 92 cents to the dollar at the management level in real estate.”
A study by CREW Network discovered that within commercial real estate, the salary gap between males and females lies at about 10 percent or 90 cents to a man’s dollar, but the most astonishing gap occurs for bonuses and commission at nearly 56 percent.
These studies tell us that despite the large number of women in the industry, some still operate under the archaic principle that women and men should be treated differently based on gender alone.
You may be asking yourself what you, as an individual or a brokerage, can do to support more women in this industry and beyond. We’re here to help point you in the right direction with a few ideas.
Provide mentorship opportunities
Our duty is to help pave the way for the women who come after us. Their success is our success, and we will only get to the top of the ladder if we continue to help each other climb.
The ultimate hope is that the cycle of supporting and lifting one another up continues and that both men and women are offering mentorship opportunities for new agents. Are you an experienced agent with new agents in your office? Consider “adopting” a new agent and showing her the ropes.
Position yourself as the market leader
Before others believe in you, you must first believe in yourself. The best way to do this is to build your confidence by presenting yourself as a leader in your market.
A few ideas include: Offering to write real estate articles for local news publications, teaming up with a mortgage broker and offering a free first-time home buyer’s seminar, or hosting events for women-owned businesses in your area, such as Wandering Wyld – Women Events.
Take advantage of opportunities through your association(s)
Many leadership opportunities exist within NAR (and your state association of realtors, too). Some are specifically for women.
- Have you considered running for local office? NAR supports realtors who plan to run for public office and helps them create a plan for success through their independent expenditure program.
You can learn more about it here: Independent Expenditures – NAR.
- This year, NAR and the Women’s Council of Realtors hosted a one day leadership conference and awarded ten recipients a grant of $2,500 each, “which provide local and state REALTOR® associations funding for new and innovative programs aimed at advancing women.
You can learn more about it here: Women Development Grants
- WomanUP is an initiative by the California Association of Realtors, and it exists to “ support the journey of women to the very TOP of their careers.”
You can learn more about WomanUP here: WomanUP- CAR
Seek out and support businesses that are either women-owned, women-created or have women in leadership positions
This information is typically readily available online under the “about me” section. Before I visit a business, even if it’s a new bakery or coffee shop, I actively search for an establishment run by women. It might take a few extra minutes, but I know that the series of small decisions we make eventually lead to significant change.
There are endless ways for us to support other women and continue to bridge the gender gap, and it starts with the intention. The history of this business, and so many others, may be predominantly male, but the future is female.