When in late November we asked the city’s commercial real estate leaders to submit as comprehensive a list of female professionals on their payroll as possible—be they lawyers, accountants, brokers or analysts—the references to Mitt Romney’s infamous line about binders of women came early and often.
As questionable as it may have sounded at first blanch, however, our notion from the beginning was to put a human face on an underrepresented demographic of New York’s commercial real estate industry, where female membership within the Real Estate Board of New York and the Real Estate Special Interest Group currently stands at 43 percent and 31 percent, respectively, according to internal reporting.
And while those numbers are encouraging compared to five years ago—let alone 1985, when the actual tally of overall REBNY members eclipsed the number of women now serving there today –evidence shows that executive-level real estate professionals are still few and far between. Indeed, with nary a single woman running a real estate company boating 50 employees or more in New York City and under 20 percent of female directors currently serving on the boards of the Big Apple’s 100 largest companies, it’s hardly a surprise that at least one industry leader described the disparity as a so-called pink ghetto.
As such, over the next two days, The Commercial Observer will publish its not-quite-comprehensive year book, shall we say, of the commercial real estate industry’s female professionals, from its junior-level associates to its shot callers. But first, here’s a slide show of 20 of the industry’s most recognizable and talented executives.
Jotham Sederstrom, Editor-in-Chief