Women in Real Estate Leadership: Where Are They?

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This week, Inman posted an article about how the National Association of Realtors compensates its top employees and board members, and the comments section went wild. The bulk of commenters focused on the six-figure salaries presented, and how it appeared to them that NAR’s top employees were (and are) being paid too much. A smaller (but similarly outraged) group of commenters pointed out another disturbing fact: despite the fact that 62% of NAR’s membership is female, the highest-paid positions in its leadership seem to be held almost exclusively by men.

As Teresa Fisher Boardman commented on the article, “Never before have so many women worked so hard to pay so few men so much…”

But how such a remarkably male leadership happen in an organization so overwhelmingly female? Per the searing think piece that Boardman went on to write about the report, “NAR isn’t a democracy, and I don’t have a representative to talk to. Members who are not appointed leaders do not have a say in how the organization runs. Leaders are appointed by people who were appointed. Appointees are people who we like, not people who are going to ask the hard questions, disagree with anyone or become a thorn in anyone’s side.”

Boardman, who owns Boardman Realty in St. Paul, Minn., says that the excuses people make to explain the lack of women remind her distinctly of the far-too-distant-for-this-to-still-be-happening past: “Back in the ’80s and ’90s, they would tell us that it all takes time, that we need to be patient and that if we complain, people wouldn’t like to work with us. There were reasons I was paid less than my male colleagues, and it would only make matters worse for me if I complained.”

Click here to read the rest of Boardman’s piece–we highly recommend it.

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