Archive of ‘Professional Development’ category
CREW Network has maintained its title as the leading producer of research on women in commercial real estate with the newest white paper, focusing on barriers that continue to affect women’s advancement in the industry.
The 2017 White Paper titled Diversity, The Business Advantage: Best Practices for Gender Equity and Inclusion in Commercial Real Estate looked at 10 commercial real estate companies that have benefited from greater gender equity and a more diverse workforce. The 2018 White Paper titled Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate builds off the findings of the 2017 White Paper and presents data, expert insight, and action items for companies and women professionals to close the gender pay gap.
The White Paper explains that “pay parity is when employers can show there is no pay gap across the entire workforce between individuals when it comes to gender, race or ethnicity.” The dictionary definition of parity as the “quality or state of being equal or equivalent.” Commercial Real Estate is under more pressure to address equality issues as companies are striving to meet the goals of quality and diversity inclusion.
Below, are the highlights and key takeaways from this year’s white paper:
Facts and Findings
• The gender pay gap in commercial real estate has decreased since the 2005 study, however, it still exists and is strongest for respondents earning less than $100,000 and above $250,000.
• Studies show that women in commercial real estate are 54% less likely to have a sponsor that can provide career advice or help compared to their male counterparts.
• The pay gap widens as years of experience increases.
• The software company specializing in pay data, PayScale, believes women are less likely to ask for raises compared to men, having a cumulative effect on women as they progress in their careers.
Benefits for Women and Companies
• Companies where women account for most of top management show superior sales growth and higher cash flow return on investment.
• The McKinsey Global Institute stated, “if women—who account for half the world’s population—do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.”
• The Institute of Women’s Policy Research noted that the poverty rate for all working women would be cut in half from 8% to 3.8%.
• 25.8 million children would also feel the benefits of equal pay, decreasing the number living in poverty from 5.6 million to 3.1 million.
Achieving Pay Parity
• Each year, Wells Fargo conducts a pay equity analysis of its US employees, which is 93% of its total workforce.
• The analysis is conducted in the fourth quarter, syncing with the annual pay review cycle, and compares the compensation of employees performing the same work to ensure employees are being paid fairly.
• In February 2018, Wells Fargo’s results showed that their female US employees make more than 99 cents on the dollar than their male counterparts.
• The head of compensation at Wells Fargo, Michael Branca, noted the five lessons learned from the process.
1. Equity starts at the top; leadership must have a commitment to reaching this goal.
2. Cultivate and nurture a diverse workforce. It’s important to pay attention to equality with current employees, but it’s important to keep diversity in mind when hiring and training employees to maintain a diverse workforce.
3. Pay equity is an ongoing process; it’s not a onetime event, it is something that must be a long-term commitment and goal.
4. Engage an expert. It’s important to have someone there to advise the work along the way.
5. You must be competitive. Wells Fargo has created three separate programs for employees to use to help balance work and family life that include options for paid parental leave or caregiving leave.
• Adobe reached equal pay in 2017 after reviewing the job structure of their US employees and analyzing the compensation practices and made the appropriate changes.
• Starbucks has reached 100% of pay equity after 10 years of efforts.
Actions Going Forward
Korn Ferry released an article titled “Equal Pay for Equal Work: The Status Quo is Not an Option” and created a five-step process called “EQUAL” that helps identify possible pay gaps and how to address the root cause.
1. Establish Parameters by scoping the work, developing a plan, identifying data, and assessing perceptions
2. Quantify Gaps by analyzing the data, building pay models, and identifying gaps
3. Understand Drivers by reviewing the root cause and analyzing rewards programs, talent acquisition and management, and governance
4. Action Planning by introducing pay remediation and strategy, design, and culture changes
5. Lead Change by aligning leaders, communications, changing road-map, equipping leaders, and keeping a sustained effort.
You can read the full 2018 White Paper: Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate here.
By Nikkia Fitch, CPA, CREWBaltimore President-Elect
Are you taking advantage of all that CREW Network offers its members?
Most of you are aware that members receive discounted pricing for CREWBaltimore events and have access to some of the most influential professionals within the commercial real estate world at each CREWBaltimore event, but guess what? There’s so much more value to being a member of CREW Network!
Two of the most valuable CREW membership benefits are:
- Access to CREWBiz, CREW Network’s exclusive membership community of professionals in the commercial real estate industry from the U.S., Canada, and the UK; and
- The ability to attend CREW Network Leadership Summits and its Annual Convention
Since CREW Network relaunched the organization’s website in 2017, some fantastic, new features have been added to the CREWBiz Community. Not only do CREW Network members have access to the exclusive member directory, but now every member can connect with other CREW Network members through the CREW Network Open Forum.
What is the CREW Network Open Forum? The CREW Network Open Forum is a tool to participate in discussions with other CREW Network members globally about topics that are important to members.
Some of the daily activity on the Open Forum includes:
- Discussions about the advancement of women in the commercial real estate industry and the 2017 Whitepaper on Diversity and Inclusion
- Job postings for open commercial real estate positions from other CREW Network members
- Members seeking referrals for attorneys, accountants, title and escrow companies or others to assist with current commercial real estate transactions
- Requests for suggestions and best practices for chapter level initiatives
- Invitations for members to connect at upcoming conferences related to commercial real estate
New discussion topics are added each day and give members the opportunity to connect with each other using the Open Forum. CREW Network promotes this through the daily CREW Network Open Forum Digest emails. It is a resource for all members to start a dialogue about the topics that interest us the most, you can view the most recent posts here.
Do you have the CREWBiz App on your mobile phone? In relaunching the CREW Network website, the CREWBiz App was also relaunched. The CREWBiz App gives you mobile access to the CREW Network member directory, the CREW Network Open Forum and to documents in the CREWBiz Library, which is a resource for chapter playbooks, chapter tools, the speakers’ directory and much more. At a recent event, I used the CREWBiz app to electronically exchange contact information with another CREW member, no business cards needed! There are so many features to explore, I encourage you to give it a try!
CREW Network events are held regularly during the year and all members can take advantage of discounted pricing. All CREW Network events offer professional development and leadership training as well as ample opportunities to increase your network beyond your local market and to become involved in CREW at the Network level. For instance, at the 2018 Winter CREW Network Leadership Summit, there were invigorating leadership sessions with Marsha Petrie Sue and Bonnie Marcus, two leading professional development coaches, and networking receptions with members from all over the country and Canada. You do not need to be a Chapter leader to attend these events!
Members who attend these CREW Network events come back motivated to advance their careers and invigorated by the comradery exhibited at each event. Valuable relationships are built and deals are made from attending the CREW Network Leadership Summits and Annual Convention and Marketplace. Also, many members participate in CREW Network Committees and the CREW Network Board after making connections at these events, which can launch your career to a higher status. Please consider attending CREW Network’s 2018 Spring Leadership Summit in Cleveland, OH and the 2018 Annual Convention and Marketplace in San Diego, CA. For additional information about upcoming CREW Network events, please visit crewnetwork.org/events.
These are just a few of the many benefits of being a member of CREWBaltimore. There’s much more to gain from being a member of the premier professional organization in the commercial real estate industry. So ask yourself what you can do to gain more value from your membership and take steps today!
CREW Network posted a recent article featuring the latest CREW Leadership Summit in Tucson, Arizona. Leadership Summits are not just for delegates—outside of chapter leader development, the panelists spoke about leadership and development training that can be useful for each member. In addition to informative seminars, CREW Network also informs members of organization updates. At this summit, attendees were notified that Network will soon be releasing an updated Strategic Plan and that the Gold Standard Playbook is being re-worked. Please enjoy the article below, with one of the photos featuring our President-Elect, Nikkia Fitch of RS&F!
Read CREW Network’s post here
FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK January 2, 2018
2018 CREWBaltimore – The Year Ahead
Welcome to 2018! I am excited to be your CREW Baltimore President for 2018.
CREWBaltimore is making some changes this year that we hope will provide a better experience for our members.
• We realize schedules are hectic and last year many of our luncheons conflicted with other events. This year we are moving many of our luncheons and programs to Tuesday or Wednesday in an attempt to reduce conflicts. You can find our full calendar of events in 2018 here.
• We’ve also changed up the order of some of our program topics. We know you are accustomed to seeing our State of the State luncheon in January. We have moved this topic to the April luncheon in order to invite speakers who are unavailable in January.
While change is good, there are some old habits we want to keep going in 2018.
• CREWBaltimore has met the CREW Foundation Chapter Challenge for the last two years! This means the Chapter donated at least $1,000 to Foundation, 100% of our board members donated and at least 50% of our members donated. A giant Thank You to all of our members who donated and made this a reality. I ask you to consider helping CREWBaltimore make it a three-peat in 2018. CREW Foundation provides scholarships to real estate students each year. There are several ways to donate. You can add a donation to the Greatest Needs Fund when you register for one of our chapter events, you can use the envelopes provided at each event, or you can go to CREW Network’s Foundation webpage to donate. No amount is too small. It all adds up to make a big difference. Thank you.
• CREW Baltimore retained 83% of our members last year. The Membership Committee hopes to increase our retention percentage for 2018 and meet CREW Network’s Gold Standard of 85%. We value the knowledge of the various fields of commercial real estate each of our members brings to the Chapter and want to provide great networking opportunities for all.
One way to get the most out of your CREW Baltimore membership is to become involved in a committee. Each month you will have the opportunity to meet with other committee members to build relationships and volunteer for tasks that will help you grow your leadership skills. If you are interested in joining a committee or want to find out more about what is involved, please feel free to contact me at Karyn.Tasker@CohnReznick.com or President-Elect Nikkia Fitch at NFitch@rsandf.com. You may also reach out to our 2018 committee chairs or co-chairs, you can find a list of them here.
Lastly, I want to encourage everyone to attend our Beacon Awards on May 3, 2018 where we will recognize and celebrate the amazing contributions and achievements our members and companies in the local market have made during the last two years.
Please feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions, comments, concerns.
As anyone who has worked for someone knows, there are many different leadership styles. These styles vary from highly autocratic to extremely participative, and they can each be effective in different scenarios. Understanding your leadership style can help you become a more effective leader as well as enable the people you are leading. Taken from Forbes.com, there are four main leadership styles: Pragmatist, Idealist, Steward, and Diplomat.
Pragmatists are driven, competitive, and value hitting their goals above all else. There are many learning opportunities for those who work under Pragmatists. It is the least common of all the leadership styles (8-12%), but top executives have a higher percentage of Pragmatists than other levels. Idealists want to learn and grow, and are open-minded. There is less structure to this style and it is highly creative. About 15-20% of American leaders have this style. Stewards value rules, process, and cooperation. There may not be as many opportunities to shine individually, but Stewards value team successes. Like Idealists, about 15-20% of leaders have this style. Diplomats value their employees, seeking to put them in positions that showcase their strengths rather than their weaknesses. They are known for being able to resolve conflicts peacefully. This leadership style accounts for 50-60% of American leaders and is the most common.
Members of CREW can employ each of the above styles, both within the organization and their own companies. In CREW specifically, we can be Diplomats by mentoring young women who are starting their careers in the CRE industry, both as part of CREW Network’s foundation and to our younger CREW members. We can be Stewards by working within our committees to fulfill their functions. We can be Pragmatists by working towards and completing the goals outlined by our Chapter President, including Chapter Challenge, and using the well-researched White Papers and Playbooks released by Network for our Chapter’s benefit. And we can be Idealists by thinking outside of the box to plan events for the coming year and generate forward thinking content for our blog.
Being a leader is not just about having a title. Your actions can speak volumes, and those in specific leadership roles look to those in the membership who exhibit these traits to help the Chapter grow and outperform year after year. And as they said at the CREW Leadership Summit, “leadership is a team sport, so let’s get in the game!”
Members of CREWBaltimore had the tremendous opportunity to sponsor the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School career fair on February 17th at Four Seasons Hotel in Harbor East. CREW members were able to speak at length with new graduates about networking opportunities, give tips on how to navigate the CREW website to locate job openings, and provide guidance on how to approach those companies. Both our CREW members and attendees enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the state of the jobs market within commercial real estate and get a sense of what industries are most highly sought after by eligible job hunters.
CREWBaltimore looks forward to the opportunity to continue attending this event in years to come, next time armed with a library of jobs and internships available within the chapter organization. Members are encouraged to submit job opportunities and internship information to firstname.lastname@example.org to be circulated throughout the Chapter.
Here’s what they have to say about the experience:
What support went into making this happen? This full year project was based on work done by CREW Network in 2015 as part of its industry survey – we used the results from that survey to create the topics for the white paper and as part of the basis of our research. Committees of 20 members each, including representation from the CREWNetwork board and staff, divided into smaller teams for research (gathering information to support the thesis from our survey findings), editorial (writing and editing the paper) and outreach (generating internal and external publicity once the paper was distributed).
How can members get involved in a project of this magnitude? The industry research committee is one of several CREWNetwork committees. Any CREW member can apply for a position on this or another committee by providing information regarding their expertise and skills and how their experience makes them a good fit for a particular committee. For example, referencing specific research and/or writing skills if you are applying to participate on the industry research committee. CREW Network also looks for participation in internal/external organizations (other than CREWBaltimore) where you have worked on related issues.
Did you learn anything throughout the process? Some of the research was fascinating, particularly as it related to self-bias. Learning what internal factors cause women to stop reaching for the executive suite and how much of this is tied to our own perceptions and needs (rather than external factors).
Following the release of the 2015 Benchmark Study Report: Women in Commercial Real Estate, CREW Network focused on digging deeper into issues that persist and stymie women’s advancement in commercial real estate. Closing the Gap: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate, CREW Network’s 10th annual white paper, details both statistical data and personal accounts previously unmeasured and unrecorded in our industry – and largely unaddressed.
To gather more detailed and anecdotal data on the commercial real estate workplace in 2016, CREW Network conducted an industry research survey and several interviews. A total of 1,019 industry professionals – both men and women – participated in the survey, which included questions about gender bias, compensation practices, mentoring and sponsorship, ageism and the aspiration gap.
Read the 2016 CREW Network White Paper “CLOSING THE GAP: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate” here.
Key Messages of the White Paper:
- Nearly 2,200 comments and open-ended responses detailed both positive (mentor success stories, supportive environments and workplace practices) and negative (blatant gender bias, unequal benefits and exclusion) experiences in commercial real estate.
- While women are gaining ground in the male-dominated commercial real estate profession (as evidenced in the 2015 Benchmark Study Report), the majority are experiencing advancement barriers including gender bias.
- Of 1,019 commercial real estate professionals surveyed, 65% have personally experienced or observed gender bias against women in their workplace in the last five years.
- 55% have personally experienced or observed gender bias against women outside of the formal workplace in the last five years (i.e. women excluded from colleague sporting events, hunting or golf trips).
- 91% of respondents said they have not displayed gender bias against a woman as a hirer or manager in commercial real estate.
- 32% of respondents believe the lack of support for women in the C-Suite and/or at home is the #1 reason for the industry’s aspiration gap; the second most popular response (26%) was that women believe being in the C-Suite will adversely affect their commitments and responsibilities outside of work.
What We Need From Our Industry Leaders Going Forward
- Be honest (with yourself) about bias in your hiring, promoting, assigning of challenging projects, compensation practices and inclusion in high-profile client relationship development. Utilize an assessment tool and engage a diversity consultant to recognize bias, take action to overcome it, and put accountability measures in place.
- Support women in your workplace and speak up when you see biases or unfair treatment. Seemingly small and consistent actions can have a huge impact.
- Make mentoring and sponsorship of women a priority. Encourage women to strengthen and expand both their internal and external networks, and ensure that mentoring and sponsorship activities include building relationships with high-profile/high-value clients. Mentors and sponsors should also help women become more comfortable with taking the risk of moving to new companies and accepting commission-based compensation in order to advance in their careers.
Donations made to the CREW Network Foundation make it possible to fund industry research and allow CREW Network to remain the leading publisher of research on women in commercial real estate- research that is helping to close the compensation and advancement gap for women. In non-benchmark years the organization budgets approximately $25,000 for industry research expenses and in benchmark years that figure is closer to $67,500. Join us in completing the Chapter Challenge by donating today through this link, CREWbiz or when you check out for your next event registration. For more information regarding the use of Foundation funds, you may contact CREWBaltimore Outreach Committee Liaison, Kim Hogan, Cushman & Wakefield.
CREWBaltimore member and Attorney at Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), Christine Espenshade has been honored among other trailblazers in the commercial real estate industry as a Woman of Influence in Real Estate Forum magazine.
The only child of a single mother, Espenshade was reportedly the first person from her suburban Atlanta county to attend Princeton University. She’s come a long way since then, having managed the sale or recapitalization of more than $3.5 billion in multifamily investments during her 20-year tenure. Espenshade is also a member of JLL’s Emerging Leaders program to foster the careers of rising stars among the firm. She is on the board of The Walters Art Museum, raising more than $8 million annually, a feat that has led to the elimination of admission fees. On the board of The Pratt Library, Espenshade chairs the building and grounds committee, is the president of the Princeton Alumni Association of Maryland and is a member of Capital Campaign Committee for The Calvert School in Baltimore. She also founded a women’s networking initiative in Baltimore.
CREWBaltimore is honored to announce 30-year member and Past President, Brenda Bodian, BJB Realty Advisors, has been inducted into the prestigious “Women of Vision Program” at the national level. Please join us in congratulating her!
The CREW Network Foundation Women of Vision program was established in 2007 to recognize donors for their cumulative giving to CREW Network Foundation. Participation in the program acknowledges an individual’s commitment to support CREW Network Foundation’s mission – to advance women in the commercial real estate industry.
When individuals reach $10,000 in cumulative lifetime giving, they are inducted into the CREW Network Foundation Women of Vision program. Each inductee is awarded an exclusive, numbered Women of Vision gold lapel pin. Each subsequent $10,000 in cumulative lifetime giving is recognized with the addition of a diamond to the individual’s pin.
Brenda is the second member of CREWBaltimore to be inducted into this elite program, in great company with Lou Ann Dent, Wells Fargo Insurance Services, who was the 49th inductee.