In part three of our #cwWomenAtWork blog series honoring our Real Estate Forum Women of Influence, we talk with Carolyn Sidor, a first-time honoree and seasoned commercial real estate professional who leads our New England offices.
Carolyn Sidor has seen the commercial real estate industry through a myriad of lenses in local, regional and national roles. She has been part of five different national brokerage firm mergers and acquisitions. Her resilience, unyielding work ethic, active listening skills, knack for identifying and developing talent and ability to think big picture serve her well in her role as the first female Managing Principal of Cushman & Wakefield’s New England region.
Under Carolyn’s leadership, Cushman & Wakefield’s New England offices have closed more than 700 transactions valued at more than $4.8B across all service lines over the last year. She leads a team of more than 180 professionals in Boston, Hartford, CT and Manchester, NH who develop holistic solutions for the firm’s investor and occupier clients across the region.
As a highly accomplished female in a male-dominated industry, Carolyn makes it a priority to mentor young women.
“Professional success today requires collaboration, flexibility, agility and recognition of different perspectives,” Carolyn says.
We sat down with Carolyn to discuss women’s impact on CRE, her advice for those just starting in the business and what she looks forward to at Cushman & Wakefield.
In what unique ways are women impacting the CRE industry?
Women often bring complementary skills to the industry with their management style and communication focus. These qualities help enhance the team-oriented and service-focused nature of our business, as it is key to understand our clients’ needs.
How can companies benefit from women in leadership roles? How do you feel about the steps the CRE industry has taken to promote diversity?
Cushman & Wakefield is actively promoting diversity via its focus on sourcing and hiring diverse talent, developing our people and providing employee resource groups that actively engage and connect colleagues across the company. Diversity has been a challenge in our industry for many years, but as our clients continue to diversify within their firms, a diverse workforce will better equip us with different ideas and perspectives that result in better solutions for clients and their unique needs.
What words of advice do you have for young women starting in the commercial real estate business?
Be open, authentic, accountable and ask a lot of questions. When all is said and done, you have to look in your own mirror and ask, ‘What I am going to do that will bring me fulfillment?’ Do you have the humility? Smarts? Drive? You need the right balance of all three. Keep the basics in mind not only as you start your career, but also each step along the way. Do what you say you’re going to do, look people in the eye, and maintain your integrity and a strong set of values. Own your mistakes–that’s how we learn. In this age of algorithms, the ability to analyze intricate situations and strategize is highly valued. But even if you demonstrate those skills, if you don’t have the basics, it’s unlikely your career will progress.
Sometimes when you least expect it an opportunity lands at your doorstep. Stay positive and keep learning!
Looking forward, what are some unrealized goals you continue to pursue?
On a professional level, I plan to grow our business in Boston and New England significantly within the next 5 years. Culturally, I want to foster a work environment where all are valued for their contributions, where we work hard for our clients, execute with thoughtfulness and excellence, communicate honestly and have fun. We have a duty to give back to the community, and I expect to focus on that more in the future with my colleagues.
What are some important trends in commercial real estate that you think people aren’t talking enough about?
Servant leadership is a timely topic in our industry, especially with the competition for talent. We have some of the most successful producers in our region who fully understand and embrace this philosophy and share their power and knowledge with others. They listen well, put others’ needs first and help people develop and perform, whether it is clients or colleagues. This helps promote a team-oriented, collaborative culture, and all team members, especially young talent, greatly benefit from the mentorship and knowledge of leaders and their successes.
Carolyn Sidor is the Managing Principal of Cushman & Wakefield’s New England offices and has overall responsibility for all lines of business delivered in Boston, Hartford/New Haven and Manchester, NH including revenue profitability and growth. She leads a team of more than 180 professionals who develop creative and holistic real estate solutions for the firm’s investor and occupier clients across the region.