IREM Blogs


International Women’s Day: Balance for Better

March 07, 2019 | Jenner O Hagan

The first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance. The theme of the 2019 International Women’s Day on March 8 is #BalanceforBetter and stresses that balance is not a women’s issue, but a business issue, that gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.

At IREM, International Women’s Day creates an opportunity to reflect on how women are represented within the real estate management profession – and how to address the challenges they face.

According to 2018 data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 49.7 percent of those employed as property, real estate and community association managers were women. Within IREM, the percentage of women is even higher: In 2016, according to the most recent CPM Profile and Compensation Study, 53.5 percent of all CPM Members were female. Compare this to 1989, when women comprised only 26.4 percent of the CPM membership.

Yet, there is still work to be done. According to Data USA, a comprehensive website and visualization engine of public US Government data, the average male salary for property, real estate and community association managers is $85,049, compared to the average female salary of $51,218 – which shows the industry still has plenty of work to do in terms of balance.

We spoke to several of our volunteer leaders to see what advice they would share with other women starting out in the industry: 

“Continue to grow your network and find ‘like-minded’ people that will mentor and challenge you to be the best you can be…and then pay it forward.  And don’t be afraid to ‘stand in your success’ – balance not being boastful or conceited when speaking of your achievements with not shrinking, thereby losing your voice.”
Denise Froemming, CAE, MBA, CPA
CEO/Executive Vice President
IREM, Chicago

“Never stop gaining knowledge; if there is a subject you do not feel you are well versed in, educate yourself until you are an expert.  Don’t shy away from challenges and don’t be afraid to be heard.”
Mindy Gronbeck, CPM, CRX, CSM
Director of Property Management
Hawkins Companies, AMO, Boise, Idaho

“There is still a clear gender imbalance, especially in leadership, and that has been the biggest obstacle for me since I began working as a property valuer/appraiser. Our industry has a long way to go with gender imbalance and transforming the industry with people of color. Women in real estate are ambitious, talented and hungry for advancement. Have perseverance. Push barriers. Make your voice heard and your presence known.”
Nandi Malindi,CPM
Treasurer, IREM South Africa Gauteng Chapter
Asset Manager, Dijalo Property Group, Johannesburg

“Consistently voice your career ambitions and goals. No one will advocate for you like YOU will advocate for you. Always remember this!”
Sidney Becker
Officer, Real Estate Advisory Services
Northern Trust, Pasadena Calif.

“As a woman in property management in the1980's, I found that many of the roles were typically filled by men. To gain respect and show that I was equally qualified, I had to spend considerable time learning every aspect of the job at rapid speed just to prove myself. While we still need to focus on achieving better representation in the C-Suite and boards of real estate organizations, it is more common today to see women in senior roles in our industry, and I am proud of the gains women have made over the course of my career.”
Cheryl Gray, CPM
IREM President Elect
EVP, Enterprise Innovation,
QuadReal Property Group, Toronto

“Find a trusted mentor that can help guide you, and understand that it’s ok to have more than one mentor. Don’t be afraid to speak up, challenge others and be a sponge!”
Lori Tillis, CPM, HCCP
Vice President, Asset Management
Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, Columbus, Ohio

“Being known as the girl in property management, I did the best job I could to prove it's not the gender that rules, it is the competence.”
Dawn Carpenter, CPM
Broker, Owner
Dawning Real Estate, Inc, Staten Island, N.Y.

We’ve fought too long to prove that we work just as hard as men. Sometimes, I feel like we’ve been focusing on that too much, that we forget to expand our business boundaries. We need to get out of our offices, actively participate in industry events, develop networks, and read the trends. We should always be careful not to get stuck in the office. Office is only a small physical area, but many important things happen outside of the office.
Seon (Jane) Hwa Youn, CPM, CIPS®
President, IREM Korea Chapter
GLOBAL SEOUL Real Estate Co., Ltd., Seoul, Korea


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09 Mar 2019 | SEON HWA YOUN
Thank you
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