More than half of women in CRE experience sexual harassment: report

The latest study also finds discrimination in the workplace is still rampant

By Natalie Hoberman | June 27, 2018 03:00 PM

Half of women working in commercial real estate reported experiencing sexual harassment at one point in their career, with most of the incidents going unreported, according to a new survey.

The report, published Wednesday by recruitment firm RETS Associates, found within that group of women, 82 percent noted the incident happened more than once.

About 40 percent of women said they endured some form of harassment five times, and three quarters said they never reported the incidents to management.

RETS Associates’ 2018 Women in CRE survey tallied results from more than 600 women respondents working in commercial real estate in the United States and Canada. The findings track with a February survey by National Real Estate Advisor, which showed that 87 percentof all respondents — men and women — said there was sexual harassment in the industry.

Women in the business also continued to earn less than their male counterparts.

While the gap is noticeable across industries, it’s especially evident in CRE. Women make nearly 25 percent less than their male colleagues, The Real Deal previously reported. The industry’s median annual compensation was $115,000 for women and $150,000 for men, according to a study by Commercial Real Estate Women Network found.

For the most recent survey, about two-thirds of respondents said they were made aware of a pay disparity at some point in their career, while 75 percent said it happened at least twice.

More than 60 percent of the women surveyed also felt that they were passed over for a job, assignment or listing based on their gender.

Progress does appear to have been made in at least one segment of the industry: real estate investment trusts. A study published this week found that more than half of all the REIT board of directors named this year are women, reflecting an increase from last year, when that figure stood at 41 percent.

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