MIAMI-A just-released Commercial Real Estate Women study revealsthat more women are entering the commercial real estate field—andthat the wage gap between women and men is shrinking.

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The CREW study found an increase in both the number of womenwith less than five years of experience and women with more than 20years of experience. What's more, a greater number of women earnbetween $100,000 and $250,000 a year—but still fewer than men.Whereas only 8% of women surveyed in 2005 were at the $250,000level, by 2010 that figure had increased to 11%.

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The bottom line: There are more opportunities for women in thecommercial real estate field across the board, from lead broker andlender to developer and attorney.

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GlobeSt.com caught up with Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, currentpresident of CREW-Miami and a real estate attorney and partner atBilzin Sumberg, to discuss why more women are entering thecommercial real estate field, what challenges remain for women andother issues women face in South Florida's commercial real estatemarket.

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LeClaire: Why are more women enteringcommercial real estate at a faster rate?

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Amaducci-Adams: Knowledge. Women nowunderstand what job opportunities are available. The workplace isbecoming more flexible. There never used to be many female rolemodels in commercial real estate. Now, there’s a lot in that 40 to50 age group. Women are rising in companies or starting their owncompanies.

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LeClaire: Why do you think the wagegap between men and women is still present?

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Amaducci-Adams: Many men arecomfortable with a commission-based compensation structure whereaswomen tend to need a little bit more security and more often prefera salary with a commission component. Also, it takes a while forwomen grow into leadership roles and get to the top of their game.Women are several years behind men in this industry. You are notgoing to become a star overnight in commercial real estate. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of time. The wage gap isshrinking. We just haven’t caught up yet.

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LeClaire: Have women’s roles incommercial real estate evolved?

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Amaducci-Adams: Without question.Women are taking leadership roles. Women lead negotiations. Womenlead companies. Women are the top producers at various brokeragecompanies. When I first started in law almost 20 years ago, youdidn’t see that many female leaders in commercial real state. Allof my clients were men with the exception of one or two. Now, Ihave a significant number of female clients.

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LeClaire: Is CRE still amail-dominated industry at the leadership or C-level position?

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Amaducci-Adams: Many times I walk intoa room and I’m the only woman. But it's getting better. In Miami,Donna Abood has her own company. She runs Colliers. Tere Blanca hasher company, Then there's Barbara Liberatore Black atCresaPartners. Those are three of the top brokers in town—andthey’re all women. So you are seeing women rise. We had a femalepresident of the Latin Builders Association. That's huge. We havefemale COO at Total Bank. These women can be role models to thenext group of women in commercial real estate.

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LeClaire: What challenges remain forwomen in CRE?

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Amaducci-Adams: First of all, you haveto overcome the presumption women aren't going to take their careerseriously and won't be in the workforce for a long time. There havebeen many women with successful families and careers who areshowing employers that this presumption is not necessarily true.But we still have to overcome that hurdle.

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