woman in real estate

Women in Real Estate Face Glass Ceiling, Says Survey

By Douglas Lipsky

According to a 2019 survey by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 34 percent of Americans working in real estate and other female-dominated industries (e.g. healthcare, education), believe there is a glass ceiling for women seeking executive or senior-level positions. 

While the survey highlights several factors that contribute to the gender leadership gap in the real estate industry, the lack of female representation in executive-level positions may be attributed to discrimination. If you believe that you have been denied a promotion by a realtor, or that you are not being compensated fairly for your work, it takes an experienced employment discrimination attorney to protect your rights. 

Breaking the Glass Ceiling For Women in Real Estate

The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker, compared the professional ambitions of 2,000-plus U.S. adults who work in female-dominated industries versus those led by men, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Generally, the survey found that 14 percent of men working in female-dominated industries held an executive-level position compared with only 8 percent of women. Moreover, according to the 2018 Member Profile Report by the National Association of Realtors®, while women make up 63 percent of all Realtors®, more men lead real estate businesses: 52 percent as broker/owners and 57 percent as selling managers.

Why do women in real estate and other female-dominated industries continue to face an upward mobility challenge? 

The survey cites several factors for the gender gap in leadership positions, not the least of which is that women have to work harder than men to achieve the same positions, which could be a deterrent to women seeking promotions and raises. In fact, the survey found that 42 percent of women are typically hesitant to request either a raise or promotion even if they are qualified, compared to 37 percent for men. 

Moreover, 53 percent of men have ambitions of holding an executive-level position in their industry, compared to 32 percent of women. Finally, the survey found 79 percent of men believe that they are being compensated fairly for their work compared to 70 percent of women; however, men were also 20 percent more likely than women to ask for a raise.

Closing the Gender Leadership Gap 

One bright note of the survey is that the majority of men and women in female-dominated industries agree that female leadership is important to them. While leadership training can help to eliminate the obstacles for career advancement, discrimination is a higher hurdle to clear.  If you have been denied training, education, or opportunities for advancement by your employer in favor of a man, you have powerful legal recourse under state and federal law. When you consult with Lipsky Lowe LLP, we will be the strength in your corner and fight for the opportunity and the compensation you deserve.

About the Author
Douglas Lipsky is a co-founding partner of Lipsky Lowe LLP. He has extensive experience in all areas of employment law, including discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, breach of contract, unpaid overtime, and unpaid tips. He also represents clients in complex wage and hour claims, including collective actions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and class actions under the laws of many different states. If you have questions about this article, contact Douglas today.