Looking Backward, Moving Forward: The 2015 Benchmark Study Revisited

Diana Robinson, Looking backward, moving forward: The 2015 Benchmark Study Revisited   by Diana Robinson, Colliers International



Lift as you climb! It’s time to close the gaps,

Of aspiration and compensation too!

At a loss for how to get started? Read on!

The Benchmark has suggestions for you!


2015 was a year that included major political and economic events around the world – including the stock market crash in China, the FIFA scandal, and the restoration of ties between the US and Cuba. And in the world of Commercial Real Estate, CREW Network conducted their third Benchmark Study. Why is this significant? Well, financial predictions vary, but some say as much as $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women in the workplace and in society. The impact will not be from women in commercial real estate alone, but the suggestions delivered as a result of the benchmark’s findings may be applied in any industry where the gaps exist. With that magnitude of economic impact, advancing women’s equality will cause these snapshots of 2015 to pale in comparison.

Let’s break it down . . .

For ten years, CREW Network has asked the same questions of women in commercial real estate and used their findings to measure progress over time with the intent that the data be used to guide women striving to advance their careers, to inform companies and managers about the values and priorities of their employees, and to enhance the agendas of organizations for women’s equality. The 2015 study measures Compensation, Experience/Title/Position, and Success and Satisfaction. Released in 2016, the Benchmark found that the Compensation Gap – while shrinking – still exists, is strongest for earners below $100,000 and above $250,000, and widens along with years of experience. With regard to Experience and Position, women are getting closer to the C-suite. In fact, with the exception of Brokerage, Sales and Leasing, there are more women serving in senior level and higher roles than ever before. When it comes to Success and Career Satisfaction, for the first time, the level of Career Satisfaction for women and men is equivalent.

As an organization . . .

CREW Atlanta is committed to making mentoring and sponsorships a priority through formal programs, including CREW Leadership, the Mentor-Protégé Program and UCREW. Informal mentoring opportunities, the monthly luncheon topics and fundraising efforts are centered around influencing the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women. Actions at the organizational level are imperative to move the needle toward parity in the industry. It will take everyone working together to produce the changes we seek.

As individuals . . .

SUPPORT women in your workplace. VOLUNTEER to sponsor or mentor a woman in the industry. SPEAK UP when you see biases or unfair treatment. It is time to refresh our minds on the survey’s findings and use them as a plumb line to check progress within our circles of influence.

Another great resource for information and actions that lead to impact is CREW Network’s whitepaper, Closing the Gaps: Addressing Gender Bias and Other Barriers for Women in Commercial Real Estate. Divided into various categories – Unconscious Bias, Subtle Discrimination and Microaggressions, Addressing the Aspiration Gap, and more – each provides recognition of the bias and makes recommendations for counteraction to close the gaps. Check it out! This whitepaper is a reference guide to be used to set your intentions toward your preferred future.


“It takes a village!” You’ve heard it said,

And may have said it yourself.

When we each do our part and a little bit more,

The rest will take care of itself!


Today is International Women’s Day  #BeBoldForChange

Diana Robinson is an Associate Project Manager with Colliers International – Atlanta, LLC’s Project Management Team where she manages office build outs, renovations, re-stacks and relocations for projects in the 5,000 – 15,000 SF range, and specializes in Move Management services for projects of all sizes.  A member of CREW Atlanta since 2011, she serves as the Board Director for the Strategic Membership and Member Services Committees, as well as the Chair of CREW Network’s Communications and Editorial Committee.


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Author: CREW Atlanta

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