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The Historic Rise Of Women In Real Estate

Playa Del Carmen, Mexico | Sara PlagaRiviera Maya Sotheby’s International Realty

They say history is written by the victors. So it’s no surprise that today, women are the winners writing the story—or herstory— of the real estate industry. At a time when workplaces and workforces worldwide are still struggling to achieve equal representation and opportunity, real estate provides a powerful example of how an industry can thrive when both men and women get a seat at the table. But that hasn’t always been the case, nor have all the gender gaps closed.

Despite a rapid rise for more than a century, there are still ceilings that need to be broken. Men are overrepresented in leadership roles throughout real estate, and the numbers aren’t moving. As reported in Forbes, 30% of executive-level managers and 43% of mid-level managers were female in 2007. Those numbers were 30% and 45% in 2017.

Vaud, Switzerland | Clélia MilletCardis Immobilier Sotheby’s International Realty

As we consider women’s history in real estate, we also need to consider women’s future in real estate, and what real equality looks like. Organizations like WCR are helping to promote career development, mentorship, sponsorship, and professional networking opportunities for women. 

What Moves Her, another industry initiative launched in 2020 by Realogy Franchise Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sue Yannaccone, is empowering women to develop their leadership skills and realize their professional development goals in real estate through workshops, leadership programs, conversation series, and other events.

Women in real estate have left an inspiring legacy of advocacy, advancement, and adding value for the industry and its clients. Now it’s up to all of us to ensure it continues.

Watch for our upcoming International Women’s day feature with leading Sotheby’s International Realty agents, as they share who their industry heroes are. Until then, explore luxury homes in some of our most popular lifestyle categories.

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