GLENDALE, CA—Women are more involved in the service aspects ofcommercial real estate and asset and propertymanagement, but they're still not the deal decision-makers,Andrea S. Glickman, area vice chairman andmanaging director-practice leader of Arthur J. Gallagher& Co., tells exclusively. A RealEstate Forum Womanof Influence for 2014, Glickman spoke with uscandidly about her views on women in commercial real estate and thebarrier they're still not able to cross.

| What do you feel is lacking for womenin commercial real estate?


Glickman: When I started in thebusiness 31 years ago, it was very Darwinian, and unfortunatelythat was back in the day when there was the one woman in the room,and the people sitting around her felt good about themselvesbecause at least they had that one woman in the room. But theevolution of commercial real estate is interesting because, if youthink about the people in the “support” industries—law, accounting,insurance—I would bet that easily 50% are women, and the mostsuccessful commercial real estate leasing peopleare also women. What is lacking are women in risk-taking anddeal-making roles. So, asset management, property management andnon-risk-taking positions are now becoming very dominated by women,but there's still a real dearth of women in risk-taking roles inCRE.

| What impact is this movement of womeninto some areas of the commercial real estate industry having onthe industry as a whole?


Glickman: There is a feminization ofthe service industry, which I think is positive because women tendnot to need that “I won, you lost” reinforcement, and so finding apoint of neutral agreement in deals and operations is more likely.I also think that men are doing that, too—it's not just women. Asmore women are involved in the service aspects of CRE andasset and property management andhave men reporting to them more regularly, there is a sense ofcommunal problem solving. But again, on the deal side, I can counton one hand the number of women there—there are women CFOs andcontrollers, but not the deal decision-makers. They're not the oneswho get the shot as they come up over the mountains. That'sdistressing.


Women tend to be more risk averse. Men can raise $100 million,lose $85 million of it, say, “Sorry,” and go back and try to raiseanother $100 million. Women feel they've let the world down ifthey've lost a nickel. Women internalize disappointment more deeplythan men, especially if they feel they've let others down.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.