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National study calls for industry action on gender parity, diversity in commercial real estate


A national study indicates there is much work to do on gender and diversity parity – with little progress over the last five years – within the commercial real estate industry.

The 2020 CREW Network Benchmark Study: Gender and Diversity in Commercial Real Estate, conducted in partnership with the MIT Center for Real Estate, measures progress for women over the past 15 years, capturing industrywide data and benchmarking diversity in commercial real estate.

“We are calling on executives who can affect change to take this study seriously and take action in their company and in the industry,” said CREW Network CEO Wendy Mann in a release. “CREW Network remains committed to creating a more diverse, equal and inclusive industry — but we can’t do it alone. Industry leaders must address these issues as a business imperative — and take action now to make this important investment in our companies, our employees, and the future of our industry to remain a competitive and attractive employer.”

Key findings from the study:

  • Women occupy 36.7% of the commercial real estate industry. The percentage has remained between 35% and 37% over the past 15 years.
  • The study saw a 5.4% increase in female respondents 39 years old and younger, indicating a growing generation of young and emerging women professionals in the industry.
  • More women occupy brokerage than ever before (29%), a 6% increase from 2015.
  • Women’s career satisfaction level is the lowest since the study began in 2005. Fifty-five percent of women are very satisfied with their career.
  • Only 16% of respondents reported that 25% or more of the professionals in their workplace are Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). However, more than half of respondents have noticed a culture shift regarding diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Overall, the difference in total average compensation (salaries, bonuses and commission combined) across genders is 34% — a nearly 11% increase from 2015.

The fixed salary gap between genders is 10.2% and the commission and bonus gap is a staggering 55.9%:

  • Women earn 10% less than men in base salaries. The gap is wider for Asian women (14%), Black women (15%) and Hispanic/Latina women (20%).
  • Women earn 56% less than men from commissions and bonuses. The gap is wider for Black women (71%), Asian women (73%) and Hispanic/Latina women (74%).

See the full release.

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