Two decades later, Ms. Kiell is not only earning a considerably larger salary; she is also opening doors for other female professionals in the real estate industry, which has long been considered a boy’s club.
At Jones Lang LaSalle, where an estimated 30 percent of company’s managers are female, Ms. Kiell has been actively mentoring female brokers and hosting seminars to help others break similar barriers.
Last month, in fact, JLL hosted its first Women’s Summit in Chicago, where the firm is based.
“I think it’s an interest of mine and the firm to really create and grow our junior women to have more senior women in the real estate ranks,” she said.
And while the gender equation is evening out—an estimated 43 percent of commercial real estate professionals are women, an increase from 36 percent in 2005, according to a 2010 report from the Commercial Real Estate Women Network—Ms. Kiell believes balancing work and family can be a challenge.
“The hours that are required a lot of times don’t work for people who want to have a good work life balance and want to have a family life,” said Ms. Kiell, a married mother of two boys who lives on the Upper West Side. “The time constraints are tough.”
Looking ahead to 2012, Ms. Kiell believes business will remain steady, but we won’t see dramatic improvements in the coming months.
“It’s going to be a plateau, small increase kind of thing for the next 12 months,” said Ms. Kiell. “We’re not going to see big ups or downs.
“The good news is people still want to be in New York City. Companies want to locate in New York City … it’s where people want to work. So we’re fortunate in that people still want office space.”