Real Estate Forum’s Women of Influence recognition honors women in commercial real estate whose achievements have helped shape and evolve the industry. This year, Cushman & Wakefield’s Alison Beddard, Senior Director in Salt Lake City and Global President of CREW Network; Sherry Cushman, Executive Managing Director in Washington, DC, and leader of Cushman & Wakefield’s Legal Sector Advisory Group; and Marla Maloney, President, Asset Services, Americas, were recognized as Women of Influence and for all they have accomplished. We spoke with them about the various challenges they’ve faced, personally and professionally; biggest wins; and advice for women entering the industry.
You’ve been named a Woman of Influence in the commercial real estate industry. What advice would you give to women just coming up in the industry?
Sherry: The most important advice I can give to a woman coming up in this industry is to get a mentor. It’s so important to have someone you can trust who can guide you through the challenges that we face, both professionally and personally. Young women especially benefit from things like learning how to negotiate commissions, charting a career path, things like that. Beyond that, I want the women I sponsor to understand that no, life is not fair. We do have to work harder, work more hours, because things aren’t equal. So make sure you bring value, take initiatives, and don’t become commoditized. Develop that “got it” factor, and you’ll become the one that people fight over.
Alison: Get involved. Understand who you work with, and especially find those people who are going to go to bat for you, who will advocate for you even when you’re not in the room. And I know this might sound cliché, but know yourself. Get comfortable with who you are, because if you don’t figure that out early in your career, you’re going to question yourself later on.
Marla: I always consider three questions before speaking: Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? In our professional work, it is important that we know our audience, adapt ourselves to the situation, and be thoughtful in our words and actions to help ensure the desired outcome. Also, I encourage those young in their career to look for opportunities to volunteer for additional work or projects. While the incremental work may not be in your job description, you will gain exposure and stature, which will lead to advancement in the long run.
Follow #cwWomenAtWork to learn more about our CushWake Women of Influence.