A Catalyst for Change: COVID-19’s Impact on Women in Commercial Real Estate

COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the workforce.  Research shows women—especially women of color—have been negatively impacted.  One in four women have considered stepping out  or  stepping  back  from  the  workplace.  Women lost $800 billion USD in income in 2020, more than the combined GDP of 98 countries. The wait for parity on a global scale has lengthened by 135.6 years.

In commercial real estate, the COVID-19 pandemic presented  new  challenges  for  women  and  stalled their progress in the industry. Yet it also presented new opportunities to change the  industry  culture  and  remove persistent workplace barriers. CREW Network’s latest industry research paper, A Catalyst for Change: COVID-19’s Impact on Women in Commercial Real Estateexamines the pandemic’s impact on women globally and in the industry, especially women of color.

In Numbers: Impact on Commercial Real Estate Professionals The following insights were taken from CREW Network’s July 2021 survey of 1,018 commercial real estate professionals across 25+ specializations and 10+ sectors in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada:

Job Loss

  • 24% of survey respondents said that women in their work location left voluntarily
  • 12% left or lost their job
  • 78% were forced to leave
  • 22% left voluntarily
  • 97% identified as women
  • 27% identified as Latinx
  • 16% identified as Black
  • 9% identified as White
  • 7% identified as Asian

Compensation and Deals

  • 54% said that they missed out on deals in 2020
  • 39% said their compensation increased
  • 37% compensation stayed the same
  • 23% compensation decreased

Career Satisfaction

  • 53% said their career satisfaction increased
    • 51% of women vs. 62% of men
  • 47% said their career satisfaction decreased
    • 47% of women vs. 35% of men

Stalled Progress for Women

  • 38% believe the pandemic stalled progress for women
  • 32% believe it derailed progress for women/set them back
  • 16% believe the pandemic had little or no impact on women
  • 14% believe it leveled the playing field for women

A Shift in Priorities

  • 50% said their career priorities have changed
    • 52% of women and 32% of men
  • 74% said their personal priorities have changed
    • 90% of women and 62% of men

Changes in the CRE Workplace

  • 70% of companies created new employee work policies as a result of the pandemic
  • 68% of employees favor flexible work arrangements
  • 50% of employees believe their companies will continue to offer increased work flexibility post-pandemic
  • 17% of employees will actively seek to work for a company that has flexible work arrangements

While half of the CRE professionals surveyed said that their career priorities changed as a result of the pandemic, 9 out of 10 women said their personal priorities changed. Hundreds of survey comments cited the immediate need for better work/life balance, a stronger focus on self-care and mental health, and more flexible work arrangements.


Read more at CREW >

You might also be interested in...

Corporate Real Estate Career Profiles
There are many paths into, and stories of successful professional careers in corporate real estate, and each contributes a strand to the great tapestry that makes the profession so challenging, so rewarding, and makes being a member so much fun
Read More