WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s been said that when opportunity knocks, you have to be ready, but women for far too long have faced an uneven playing field, especially in fields that traditionally have been male- dominated like commercial real estate. GlobeSt.com reached out to SIOR VP-Elect Patricia Loveall, partner and EVP of Kidder Mathews, the largest independent commercial real estate firm on the West Coast, to discuss the importance of building an effective CRE network, one that improves access and opportunity for women.
“Prioritizing and creating the opportunities to mentor women and focus on diversity and inclusion is a critical element to our future success,” Loveall said. “To stay ahead in this fast-moving world, companies need to be open to the next big ideas. Tomorrow’s leaders will be the ones who have embraced reinvention and constantly pushed themselves to seek better outcomes. That includes a diversity of culture and thinking.”
SIOR has actively worked to foster more opportunity for women in CRE through student training, scholarships, partnerships and conferences, which are tailored to maximize industry networking and career growth.
Take the 2019 Nexus Summer Program. SIOR and the SIOR Foundation sponsored this program atCornell University to provide college-bound teens with both academic and career development support. Students, with the help of industry leaders, participated in a major CRE brokerage project during the course. As Loveall notes, “the Nexus program is a shining example of how SIOR is collaborating with other leading institutions to usher in the next generation of talented and diverse CRE professionals.”
Or look at the Mildred C. Hanson SIOR Memorial Fund scholarship. Established in 2008, it encourages and assists women in obtaining an education that sets them on the path to a CRE career. Named after one of the first women to earn the SIOR designation, the scholarship awards up to $4,000 to a qualified rising junior or senior female student.
SIOR events, such as next month’s 2019 SIOR Fall World Conference in Portland, are designed to facilitate and elevate CRE networking, mentoring and the sharing of best practices. Loveall said that SIOR’s responsive, high-touch, service-oriented approach to such events — “what’s most important is the ability for us to listen to our audiences and have our offerings evolve” — means that everyone derives the most value possible, whether industry niches like investment or tenant rep or individual affiliations such as the young professionals, the women’s leadership & mentoring, and the independent brokerage groups.
“The result is that SIOR provides cutting-edge programming in areas of expressed interest for our members, including women. It’s a very member-focused organization,” she said.