The commercial real estate sector has long been considered a male-dominated industry. But the truth of the matter is that it isn’t what it used to be. And that’s a good thing.
Women have the skills, the strength, and the leadership to change the face of the industry.
And we should never neglect to acknowledge the impact, and the value women have in commercial real estate and every workplace for that matter. That starts by taking the time to recognize the women around you - the ones you work with on a daily basis.
So, we want to take a moment to highlight the women that make SimonCRE what it is today, and get their perspectives on what it takes to be a woman in commercial real estate, the changing landscape, where they see the industry headed.
Why do you feel gender diversity is so important in the workplace?
Gender diversity is, more than ever, paramount in this company and all workplaces nationwide. Women are no longer perceived as primarily nurturers and caregivers but as thought-provoked leaders equal to their male counterparts. Great strides have recently been made in ensuring both women and men can work safely together. I’m hopeful this is the beginning of a new gender diversity standard in the workplace. - Joey Fulgenzi
Do you feel like there are less women in CRE compared to other industries? Why?
In my experience, most of the professionals that I’ve encountered in commercial real estate have been women – from managers and administrators to vice presidents. It’s a broad field that offers a lot of opportunity. Whether you’ve found your passion and just want to make it to the top or whether you are still discovering what you excel at, commercial real estate is a rewarding career choice. - Jennifer Polansky
Currently, what are the biggest challenges to being a woman in CRE?
Although the industry seems to be male dominated, I, personally, don't see any major challenges to being a woman in this field. I'm accustomed to working in a field of mostly men and have found that ANYONE can make their own mark through dedication and hard work, no matter what gender you are. - Debbie Noble
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be and why?
I think one significant issue is the idea of second guessing a woman's opinion. Personally, I still find that some, not all, men are apprehensive when it comes to supporting great ideas that come from a woman. It's almost as if some people still need to be convinced that we’re capable. - Kelly Hardin
What do you love about the team at SimonCRE?
One of the best aspects of this workplace is that we all work independently, but for a common goal. Everyone is entrusted and empowered to do their job. The respectful atmosphere is one of the best I have ever encountered. When there are timelines and deadlines to meet, people are always helpful and cooperative. Everyone has a voice and I certainly feel my opinion matters. - Trish Clark
What kind of pride do you take in being where you’re at today, professionally?
I’m proud of the fact that I started out in this industry by simply wanting to help my son and that it’s evolved into an amazing opportunity to learn and grow. Throughout the years, I ended up teaching myself bookkeeping, human resources, IT, and more, and I think that really speaks to my capabilities and also to the potential of women in the industry. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and more opportunities exist for women to do the same. - Nikki Simon
What has you most excited about the future for women in CRE?
Women are starting to play a huge role in the commercial real estate industry. You’re seeing more and more women in leadership roles, including Jilliene Helman, CEO and Co-Founder of Realty Mogul, Poonam Mathis, CEO and Founder of Stealthforce and Linda Day Harrison, Founder of theBrokerList. The list goes on and it’s exciting to see these women own and redefine the industry. It’s even more thrilling that all of these women are breaking ground, setting positive examples and ENSURING that the gender gap within CRE becomes closer to a thing of the past. It’s exciting to think that one day women will stand out in the industry not because of their gender but because of their accomplishments. - Elena Wall
What advice do you have for women wanting to advance their career in CRE?
One of the biggest keys to success is knowledge: stay informed and educate yourself. There are so many different aspects to commercial real estate, so never stop adding to your knowledge about this fascinating industry. If you’re knowledgeable, well-rounded, and passionate about learning and doing more, there’s nothing that can stop you. - Roxanne Knight