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Study reveals UK women earn £71,000 less per year than male counterparts in commercial real estate

In its recently revealed study, leading business and networking organisation Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) UK has found that men are paid almost 50% more than women in the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) sector, with women earning on average £136,000, compared to £207,000 for men — a gender pay gap of £71,000.

A massive 38% of respondents stated that their organisation has no women in senior leadership positions at all. The study found that women were better represented in smaller management teams within their specialism, and only dominate where there is just one senior position, where they were found to fulfil 75% of these roles.

In contrast, of those women currently not in high-level positions, only 40% aspire to the C-suite, whereas almost 50% are aiming for other senior leadership roles.

The top barrier to promotion for women was highlighted as gender discrimination, followed by lack of opportunities, and parenting/family responsibilities. Although, 58% of respondents stated their organisation has a programme in place aimed at advancing women within the company.

The 2020 benchmark study titled ‘Gender and Diversity in Commercial Real Estate’ — commissioned every five years by CREW Network in partnership with MIT’s Centre for Real Estate — included data from UK professionals for the first time and evidences clear disparity between genders within the UK commercial real estate sector.

Siobhan Godley, tax partner with Deloitte and CREW UK board chair, commented “The outcomes from this report are stark.  Although reducing gender discrimination has remained a focus, the UK commercial real estate industry still has a long way to go to make meaningful progress in closing the gender pay gap and promoting equal opportunities across all genders.

“Acknowledging and demonstrating that there still many barriers to progression for women within the sector is a good starting point to get the conversation going and I hope that the report will help to do just that. We all need to try to further understand what we can do as an organisation—and as an industry —to support and advance women in CRE.

“We also need to recognise the impact of the pandemic, remote and hybrid working and the blurring of work/life divides for many women during the last 12 months and as we return to our offices potentially in more agile work models.  This may require more strategic focus for organisations.”

The study also found that discrimination was not just a gender issue, but that diversity was also severely lacking, with 40% of respondents stating that their organisation is ‘not diverse at all’, stating that less than 5% of staff included people of colour.