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Perspective

When we are retained to manage a search assignment, practically every client indicates a significant interest in recruiting a woman for the position and instructs us to make every effort to include women candidates in the process. Unfortunately, more often than not, the results are disappointing. The reason is simple: Women in this industry are few and far between, especially at the more senior-professional and executive ranks. The shortage is across the board, in every sector and every function. I decided to inquire whether the tide will turn when a wave of female graduates emerges from the ever-growing number of graduate real estate programs. Guess what? Not so. I checked with Dr. David Funk, director of Cornell University’s graduate program in real estate, and was stunned to learn that women comprise less than 19% of the student population in graduate real estate programs, including Cornell’s. At the same time, females comprise more than 33% of the student body in general MBA programs. This is a shocking statistic, and I’m at a loss to understand why. I invite your comments and reactions, and I’ll follow up with feedback in a future column.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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