The evidence is clear (and mounting): companies helmed by women tend to financially outperform those with less diversity at the top. But despite that, women are still dramatically underrepresented in corporate America—and commercial real estate is no exception.

According to CREW’s 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Benchmark Survey, women represent about 36% of commercial real estate professionals—an amount that’s remained largely unchanged over the last 15 years—and hold just 9% of C-suite positions. And while more and more women are ascending the leadership ranks within CRE, the progress is slow. RETS’ most recent survey notes that women in commercial real estate have made “incremental” strides in promotions and compensation equity: while four years ago, just 13% of survey respondents had reached the C-suite, 21% of those surveyed this year over the age of 55 had achieved senior leadership gigs. Those numbers belie the so-called “opportunity gap” that prevents women from ascending beyond mid-level roles, experts say.

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