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More High Heels in the Board Room: 2020 Election Brings Hope to Gender Equality in Multifamily

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Regardless of your political affiliation, the results of the 2020 election are groundbreaking for our country in terms of gender equality and diversity on the most powerful platform to sit in the United States. The first woman Vice President will take her seat as the second in command leading our country; an exciting and monumental moment for everyone, but especially women.

I’ve always been proud to work in an industry where women consistently find executive leadership roles and are responsible for managing multi-million-dollar real estate assets across our country. Most of the well-respected and knowledgeable mentors I’ve had the pleasure of learning from and working with over my career have been women. I’d venture to guess it’s about 85%, a staggering percentage given the gender inequality we face in most industries today.

Over my career thus far, I’ve seen many of my colleagues, again mostly women, quickly climb the corporate ladder in multifamily and find high-level director positions, VP positions and Senior level positions at large property management companies(the largest in my case)and finding their seat at the corporate table.

I’ve been at cocktail hours and in conversations advocating for the industry for some of the largest multifamily management companies. I was always bragging about the opportunities they present for women. It was shocking when I began to research for this article that I’ve been blindly mistaken. According to Multifamily Executive Magazine, in a published article in October 2020, “Gender Disparity Still Characterizes Multifamily Leadership,” women in high-level board member positions or named executive officers is barely reaching 20% in our industry. I was disappointed, to say the least.

This statistic raises a number of questions for me, but the largest one being, why have I been surrounded by a majority of women doing boots on the ground operations and climbing corporate ladders, yet men are still monopolizing board rooms and executive officer positions? I’m optimistic that the answer to that question is largely due to the fact that we are still in the infancy stages of balancing out gender equality in these higher level positions, and with time (hopefully not much), we’ll see that 20% increase closer to the 50/50 range.

As with most things in life, finding balance is imperative. Running a company, or a country, will feat better with gender equality and as much diversity as possible. I’m hopeful that bringing balance and a new sense of equality into the White House it will help catapult equality and diversity into our industry as well.