Women are increasingly breaking gender stereotypes and stepping into historically male-dominated fields, and the commercial real estate industry is no exception. In fact, according to a recent benchmark study by Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, women occupy many senior vice president, managing director and partner roles today and are more satisfied with their career success than ever before.
The CREW study suggests that in many aspects, women have achieved equal or close-to-equal standing to men in the industry.
“Historically, women’s presence in the real estate industry was primarily in residential sales and marketing,” said Debra Tantleff, founding principal of TANTUM Real Estate in Jersey City, whose certified Women’s Business Enterprise development and advisory firm specializes in multi-family and mixed-use communities in New Jersey. “With every market cycle, there continues to be an increasing number of women getting involved in all facets of the industry. It’s also encouraging to see the next generation of female students recognizing commercial real estate as a rewarding and viable career path.”
Opportunities for female leaders continue to grow at Atlantic Environmental Solutions Inc. (AESI) in Hoboken, reflecting the environmental consulting firm’s mission to create a corporate culture that allows both women and men to reach their professional goals.
“More women are entering the environmental field at all levels than ever before, and we view this as a tremendous opportunity for our firm,” said AESI President Michael Novak. Over half of AESI’s professional staff are women, a number that is expected to rise as the company continues to attract and develop talent in key leadership roles.
AESI works closely with the commercial real estate community in identifying and resolving environmental issues as part of real estate transactions and property development.
Kelsey Nakamura, a director at Cushman & Wakefield based in Morristown, focuses on all aspects of office brokerage, including tenant and landlord representation. She joined the firm in 2012 and has received multiple industry awards throughout her career.
Networking and relationship-building can open doors to business opportunities in commercial real estate and help women meet sponsors and mentors who can have a considerable impact on their careers. “Networking is a big part of what it takes to become successful in the industry today,” said Nakamura, who serves on NAIOP NJ’s Board of Trustees.
While women recognize the importance of mentors and sponsors, finding one can be a challenge.
Many tri-state organizations offer women valuable opportunities to network with other CRE professionals, foster new business and find support. These include CREW NJ, part of the 11,000-member global networking organization dedicated to influencing the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing achievements of women.