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Women Leadership on the Rise in Commercial Real Estate

The work environment was for a long time skewed against women. Since the 1970s, women could only work in certain departments. Accounting and clerical work were left for them as men filled all the commercial brokerage positions.

Their journey has been long and arduous. There have been pioneers such as Jackie Soffer of Turnberry. Having cemented her role as a renowned entrepreneur in a real estate company. Jackie Soffer serves as a light at the end of the tunnel. Women have used her as an example of what is possible.

The trend has caught on. There are now more women in leadership than there were twenty years ago. Rebecca Maccardini, Joan Woodard, and Beverly Rachel have served at the helm of successful real estate companies.

It`s not that men are being pushed out. Note the contrary, this trend is drawn from a growing realization women bring a unique package. There are innate talents that create a female advantage. These qualities are women’s attention to detail, their perseverance, and exceptional presentation skills.

Women are less threatening to investors. Investors are wary of men who tell them how to spend their money. While men tend to tackle problems head on, women use their discernment. They are more likely to understand. During an interview, they pick up subtle details.

Jackie Soffer has a top management job at Turnberry Associates as co-CEO. She is in charge of the hospitality, retail, and office management. Her counterpart Rebecca Maccardini just stepped down as president the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP). Joan Woodard is the acting chair of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). Beverly Rachel is the first president at Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute (read more about women in real estate leadership positions).

A woman’s place in society is no longer behind the scenes. The forces of education, technology, globalization, and the Internet have changed aptitudes and attitudes. The office conversation has matured. Women are treated with utmost respect and are regarded at the same level as their male counterparts in the workplace.

The classroom is another reason women have risen to leadership positions so quickly. Mathematics and the sciences were reserved for the men. For long it was believed, there was no way women would choose maths over the arts. The changing situation in the classroom means women are surpassing men in these subjects.