Women have traditionally faced barriers to success in the commercial real estate industry.
These barriers grow exponentially for women of color.
Barriers include: lack of pay parity, lack of access to
executive positions, lack of access to financing, and lack of access to venture capital.
For emerging women real estate developers, these issues compound.
Pay Parity: CREW Network's 2015 Benchmark Study Report: Women in Commercial Real Estate* found a 23.3% gender pay gap among industry professionals. The gap begins to widen at mid-career and increases to nearly 30% in the C-suite.
The study was updated in 2020. While the overall share of women in the industry hasn’t changed much (36.7% in the 2020 study), researchers found a growing wage gap. The difference in total earnings (combining salaries, bonuses and commissions) between genders in 2020 is up 11% from what it was in 2015. Most of the 34% gap comes after salaries are set. The commission and bonus gap is 55.9% between genders, a figure the report characterized as “staggering.”
According to the CREW Report, white women make 93% of white men’s salaries, but only 48% when it comes to bonuses. That differential was 79% and 21% for Hispanic women; 64% and 83% for black women; and 74% and 49% for those who identified as “other” or mixed race.
Access to Capital /Financing: Women and minority-owned firms have had difficulty getting financing for real estate projects. "Minority-owned firms are much less likely to be approved for small business loans than white-owned firms. And, even if they do get approved, minority-owned firms are more likely to receive lower amounts and higher interest rates. According to findings from the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency, these discrepancies have made minority business owners more likely to not apply for small business loans, usually out of fear of rejection."
Access to Venture Capital : Venture Capital: Women and Minority Founders have historically not received Venture Capital for startups. "In 2019, 2.8% of funding went to women-led startups; in 2020, that fell to 2.3%, Crunchbase figures show. This comes after years of increases. The 2.8% figure, while paltry, was an all-time high."
WSDI has developed a series of programs and services that will address these problems. Our goal is to provide the upfront funding for emerging women developers so that they can perform feasibility studies, gain site control, complete conceptual design and be ready to seek permanent financing.
We also hope to connect them to a broad audience of women funders (venture capital, family office and others) that are seeking to finance women-led projects and help build a culture of women financing women founders.
Womens Sustainable Development Initiative
607 Shelby Street, Detroit, Michigan 48226, United States
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