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NEW YORK CITY-The Glass Ceiling is cracking, and insiders state that this is good news not just for women but for the industry as a whole. Most (56%) of the 1,015 respondents to GlobeSt.com’s latest Quick Survey tell us that women are underpaid in the business, but salaries and responsibility are on the rise.

In fact, 75% of our respondents say that pay scales are more equitable than a decade ago. Some 10% said no, and 15% believe they are the same. It should be noted that 54% of the respondents were women.

“Doesn’t everyone think they are underpaid?” poses Linda Hollemon, CEO of Lawrence, KS-based CREW Network. “If the question were if men thought they were underpaid, they would say yes.”

For Hollemon, the significant numbers concern the authority females now carry in the business. Some 82% of the survey participants said they believe women are moving into decision-making positions. “The remnants of the glass ceiling are permeable,” the CREW executive states. “People are shooting through it.”

Cushman & Wakefield EVP Darcy Stacom sees the Glass Ceiling question a bit differently than does Hollemon, and she explains that there are pockets of advancement. “There are a lot of female asset managers and they get paid the same as males,” she observes. “But if you’re talking about how many women are in high-level positions within pension funds or REITs or general real estate companies, maybe you’ll find one here and one there.”

Manhattan-based Stacom is certainly right about the asset management function. That specialty recognizes women most as decision-makers according to 25% of our respondents. Here are the other most popular areas of focus: Leasing (21%); Sales (12%); Finance/Lending (11%); Investment and Legal; (tied at 10%); Architecture/Design (6%); Development (3%); and Appraisal (2%).Are women who choose real estate for a career making headway against the good old boys network? Clearly, based on the results of our survey. “This says good things about women in the industry in general,” observes Hollemon.

But have they done away with the Glass Ceiling? Clearly not, says Stacom. “It’s broken,” she concludes, “not shattered.”

(GlobeSt.com’s Quick Survey is not a scientific poll and is designed to reflect only the opinions of those participating in it.)

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