Publications

- April 1, 2019: Vol. 31, Number 4

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Female founders: Women-owned businesses are carving out space in the real estate industry

by Loretta Clodfelter

Women have made great strides in business, and in the real estate industry, but women infrequently reach the highest echelons of real estate investment. A KPMG survey of women in alternative investments found 17 percent of the CEOs in the real estate sector were women, as well as 12 percent of the CIOs or portfolio managers.

Trends in the real estate industry reflect the broader culture. An analysis of S&P 500 firms by Catalyst found 4.8 percent of CEOs were women in 2019, compared with 44.7 percent of all employees. At each step of the career ladder, women represent a smaller proportion of the people on that rung.

The rarity of women at the top is reflected in the persistently small number of women who have founded their own businesses in the real estate investment industry. When Deborah Harmon, CEO and co-foun

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