Category Archives: Professional Development

CREWBaltimore attends JHU Carey School of Business Career Fair

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 to be circulated throughout the Chapter.

CREWBaltimore plays part in the CREW Network White Paper release

It is no secret that our Chapter is abundant with wise, talented members who are engaged in the overall mission of this organization, so it was no surprise to see two of our local women step up and join the CREW Network Industry Research Committee. Michelle Cohen, principal at Miles & Stockbridge P.C., and Karen Pecoraro, ATC Group Services LLC, volunteered on the committee in 2016 and relayed back to us some inside info on what really went into this year-long project.

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.

Christine Espenshade named Woman of Influence in Real Estate Forum Magazine


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.

Barb Nicklas, General Growth Properties, Inc

Christine Espenshade, Managing Director, Capital Markets, JLL, Miami

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.

Brenda Bodian Inducted Into Women of Vision Program

Brenda Bodian, BJB Realty Advisors, Past President and founding member of CREWBaltimore

Brenda Bodian, BJB Realty Advisors, Past President and founding member of CREWBaltimore

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.

The generous Women/Men of Vision

Jane Snoddy Smith diamond diamond diamond diamond diamond
Dottie Cunningham diamond diamond diamond diamond
M. Maureen Anders diamond diamond diamond
B. Diane Butler diamond diamond diamond
Regina Bruce  diamond diamond
Anne DeVoe Lawler diamond diamond
Judy Nitsch diamond diamond
Gail S. Ayers diamond
Ginger Bryant diamond
Collete English Dixon diamond
Irene L. Hosford diamond
Beth Lambert-Saul diamond
Cindy Malone diamond
Diana L. Parker diamond
Marianne Ajemian
Linda S. Andreozzi
Kris Beason
Brenda Bodian
Armin Cantini
Kathy Carr
Barbara Champoux
Faith Hope Consolo
Lou Ann Dent
Angela E. Dugick
Tina A. Essegian
Jeanette Flory-Sagan
Calvin “Cal” Frese, Jr.
Roberta B. Fuhr
Bonnie S. Gottlieb
Cheryl Hardt
Jodi Hartley
Sharon Herrin
Linda G. Hollemon
Victoria L. Joly
Cynthia Emerson Keefer
Lori E. Kilberg
Julie A. Kimble
H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest
Judith D. Levine
Jean M. Meilinger
Patricia “Lynny” Osenbaugh
Nancy Olah
Janice Paine
Jennifer A. Redner
Glenn Rufrano
Karin Schulz
Kelley J. Smith
Elizabeth E. Solender
Sally French Tyler
Margaret Van Meter
Gerry Ring Waltz
Valerie L. Wood
Goldie Wolfe Miller
Cindy Wozny-Carl

Women of Influence Confidence Code Quiz – How Do You Stack Up?

women of influence confidence code quiz

Join us for the 2015 Women of Influence Event

On April 23, 2015 CREWBaltimore will be hosting one of our hottest luncheons of the year, Women of Influence. This lively panel discussion will feature several influential women from the region’s commercial real estate industry. The panel will focus on the important role confidence plays in success, leadership and career advancement. Gain expert insights on building your network, pursuing your goals, achieving success and creating work-life balance. To succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.

Take the Confidence Code Quiz

Those who had the pleasure of hearing Katty Kay at CREW Network Convention are familiar with her book “The Confidence Code”. Before hearing the panel reference the book in their discussion at our upcoming event, learn how you stack up, by taking the Confidence Code Quiz!  That knowledge alone should give you a confidence boost.

Register today!