A CREW Discussion -The Pay Gap in Commercial Real Estate


Recently, I was a part of a dynamic discussion at a CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) -Fort Lauderdale / Boca chapter event around the pay parity for women in the workplace and more specifically in Commercial Real Estate. A statistic was shared in regards to the pay gap percentage between men and women. It’s an alarming 20% (1)! Now, that was back in 2016, so my hope is that it’s decreased in the last four years.

The word, parity, was new to me, so for those who are also scratching your head, I looked up the definition. Parity, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the quality or state of being equal or equivalent”. When companies achieve pay parity, there is no pay gap across individuals when considering ethnicity, gender, or race.

The CREW Network conducts great research behind the pay gap and their latest findings show that it widens in commercial real estate as the individual moves up in position. According to the 2015 CREW Network benchmark study, men in the commercial east estate C-suite earned 29.8% more than women at the same level. If executive level men and women are negotiating their salaries equally, this may indicate women are starting from lower offers and basing negotiations on salary history rather than their skills, abilities, and experience (2).

So, what is being done about this? Companies are focusing more on diversifying their team, promoting and hiring women for upper leadership roles.  Studies have shown that women in leadership roles increase productivity and sales. Young women are also more confident to apply for male-dominated fields and request salary increases when they see another woman in the same position.

Even though commercial real estate is slower than most industries, the 2015 CREW Network benchmark study revealed that more women are filling vice president and partner positions more than ever! Although the progress is exciting, it’s expected to take an additional 41 years to reach pay parity (2). How can you help move the needle? You can by help by supporting women in every workplace and engage in a strong professional network such as CREW. Together we can accomplish anything!

If you or someone you know may be interested in joining CREW, please reach out to me at Jaclyn@jeweltoned.com and I will send your contact to the current President. CREW is the world’s leading producer of research on women in commercial real estate. The CREW Network exists to transform the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally.

(1) Hill, Catherine et al. (2011 rev. 2018) The Simple Truth about the gender pay gap. American Association of the University of Women.
(2) CREW Network, (2018) Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate.