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Knocking on Pay Equity’s Door: Commercial Real Estate Women Network Seeks Answers to Gender Wage Gap

The Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network recently evaluated the pay gap by gender in the commercial real estate industry and published a white paper entitled “Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate” (Linked here).  The white paper reports that the gender pay gap “persists and is strongest for [women] earning less than $100,000 and above $250,000.” The greatest gap was found with commercial real estate brokers, with a pay differential of 33.8% between women and men.

The CREW Network suggests that several factors are responsible for the persistent pay gap, including: (i) salary negotiations; (ii) mid-career disruptions; and (iii) unconscious bias. The white paper reports that although executive level women and men appear to negotiate their salaries equally, the wage gap widens mid-career, suggesting, in part, that “women are starting from lower offers and basing negotiations on salary history rather than skills, abilities, and experiences.” According to a series of experiments conducted by Harvard University researchers, and cited by the white paper, “evaluators penalized women more than men for initiating negotiations, and nervousness around male evaluators made females less inclined to negotiate compensation versus encountering a female evaluator.”

The white paper also reports that “[w]omen are much more likely to take time off from their careers to care for a family member, with 42% reducing their hours, 39% taking significant time off, 27% quitting jobs, and 13% being passed over for a promotion. On the other hand, only 28% of men reduced their hours, 24% took significant time off, 10% have quit jobs; and 10% have been passed over for a promotion.”

The white paper recommends specific steps to achieve “pay parity” in the industry. The CREW Network advocates for salary transparency and greater diversity in senior management.

The CREW Network’s white paper is the latest example of industry-specific efforts to tackle pay disparity.

For more information on efforts being made in other industries, see:

American Medical Association Adopts Resolution to Promote Pay Equity

Protest Challenges Pay Discrimination Behind the Lens

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 295


About this Author


Amanda E. Steinke is an Associate in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive advice and counsel.

While attending law school, Ms. Steinke was an editor of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal and a member of the Villanova Law Pro Bono Society.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Steinke was an associate at a large Philadelphia firm where she counseled life insurers in litigation involving policy lapse, policy coverage...