Friday Letter Women's work

In July, PERE magazine will profile 10 influential women in real estate, predominantly deal professionals and institutional investors with the ability to deploy significant amounts of capital. These glass-ceiling breakers are helping change the perception that real estate is a man’s world. 

The July issue of PERE will feature 10 influential women in global real estate investment. Our list of candidates was surprisingly long, indicating the ground that women have gained recently in this profession.

As some private equity real estate professionals commented when we gauged their opinion about who should make the list, there is a perception of a dearth of female talent in the upper echelons of most real estate investment firms. Indeed, one source admitted they were “drawing a blank” when asked to name women they deemed influential.

However, in pulling together the feature, PERE generated a “short-list” of not just 10 executives that exert real influence in real estate – particularly private equity real estate – but almost five times that amount. The women come from all real estate backgrounds, including senior acquisition professionals, pension investment staff, lenders, lawyers, advisors, consultants and fundraisers.

What is notable is that, contrary to popular belief, the 10 influential women to be featured in July are predominantly deal professionals and institutional investors with the ability to deploy substantial amounts of capital.

If there is a perception that there are too few women at the top levels of real estate today, then clearly the nearly 50 candidates suggested to us means the future of this industry will include a mix of X and Y chromosomes.

Whether genetics, education, experience or simply a lack of good self-PR, PERE will explore why it is that real estate has not been at the cutting edge of opportunities for women, and how this is rapidly changing.

In the meantime, PERE has been repeatedly offered the following advice: to make it in private equity real estate men and women alike have to be willing to stand up for what they believe in – and occasionally take risks.

“If you want to win Miss Congeniality, this is not the industry for it,” one (female) source said.