December 2, 2020 - Breaking it Down:  2020 CREW Network Benchmark Study

December 2, 2020
Written by: CREW Cleveland
On Wednesday, December 2nd, CREW Cleveland and CREW Pittsburgh joined forces to host a virtual event - Breaking It Down:  2020 CREW Network Benchmark Study.  Speakers Cecilia Hyun - Partner, Siegel Jennings Co. LPA (2020 CREW Network Industry Research Committee Member) and Sharon Krohn – Executive Coach, Sharon Krohn Consulting (CREW Chicago) discussed the findings of the 2020 CREW Network Benchmark study in regards to Compensation, Diversity, Culture Shift and the Aspiration Gap.  The conversation was eye opening as well as inspiring for the continued need for growth and change for Women and Diversity in the Commercial Real Estate Industry.
  • Compensation:  The study highlighted that in the field of Commercial Real Estate the salary gap between men and women is widening in total compensation up to 34% in 2020.  Interestingly, in base salary alone, women are closing the gap on men, trailing them by only 10% in 2020.  The difference is in bonus, commissions, and incentives where women are behind men by an astonishing 56% for the year. 
  • Diversity:  The study found that only 16% felt that they worked in a diverse environment in the CRE field, leaving much room for improvement in the industry.
  • Culture Shift:  While the figures on diversity and pay are disheartening, the industry is starting to see an encouraging culture shift.  Organizations are realizing that silence in social justice matters are no longer an option.  They must speak out.  But more importantly, beyond speaking out, they are starting to implement change.  We are starting to see companies put diversity at the forefront making sure leadership roles and board positions are filled by people of every race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.  Research has shown this diversity to be not only inclusive, but an important competitive advantage in any industry, including Commercial Real Estate. 
  • Aspiration Gap:  Rounding out the discussion with some good news, our speakers walked us through the aspiration gap between men and women wanting to reach C-Suite.  While 43% of men aspire to reach this level compared to only 32% of women, this gap is narrowing since this study was conducted in 2015, indicating more women are interested in reaching the top executive level.
Now more than ever, we must hold companies and their leaders accountable for hiring and equally compensating a diverse workplace.  COVID-19 has highlighted the issue with 4 times as many women leaving the workforce as men to care for their families.  Women of color have been disproportionally affected by this even further.  Companies have a responsibility to intentionally recruit and seek out diverse talent, but it is also the responsibility of outside influences – all of us in our industry – to speak up, demand more and to become part of the solution.
The event concluded with breakout sessions where individuals could converse in small groups about how we can be a part of the solution.  CREW collected the ideas and will work to bring those thoughts to action.  The power of CREW is enormous, and we are most certainly at our best when working together and supporting one another.
Thanks for another great program, CREW!