• Americas

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: The Rise of Women in Real Estate

By Tricia Trester, Executive Vice President – Global Occupier Services
WIN Leadership Council Chair, Industry Partnerships

In today’s fast-paced and competitive marketplace, commercial real estate firms are seeking diversity of thought and broader perspective. A paradigm shift of socially conscious clients are expecting more action in fostering diverse, female professional talent – empowering women to break the glass ceiling within a male-dominated industry.

What does this mean for the future of women in corporate real estate? Simply this – when we consciously place more women in leadership positions, employers’ benefit from this unique skill set, perspective and life experience that expands the firm’s vision and produces bottom line results. The number of female executives in our customer engagements continues to rise and they are seeking to partner with CRE firms that embrace the empowerment of female leaders and diverse talent.

Top corporate culture drivers to empower women in CRE and transform the real estate landscape:

  1. Align corporate culture to champion the commitment towards women’s career advancement in real estate.
  2. Invest time and resources into diverse, women-led programs and mentorship across all regions and markets
  3. Promote gender pay equality and an inclusive workplace


Did You Know?

According to CREW Network, the income gap between men and women in the industry is 23.3%. Studies have shown that men are more often seen as the “provider”, where an unconscious bias exists when addressing salary issues.

CRE organizations can bridge this wage gap by adopting a system of checks and balances when evaluating pay and promotion structures, thus attracting more top female talent into pursuing a career in real estate.

Where Are Women in CRE Now?

The glass ceiling is not officially broken as women today are still largely unrepresented in the CRE industry within positions of influence.  However, awareness of gender bias is increasing and organizations are moving the needle by implementing programs to create change.  Employers that embrace the rise of female talent into executive roles will lead the industry and break historic barriers.


A Senior Executive based in Chicago, IL, Tricia Trester has more than 17 years of experience in commercial real estate, facilities management and project management. Tricia is responsible for driving the development and growth of profitable new business within Global Occupier Services (GOS) as part of the senior leadership team. She is responsible for all aspects of winning new business, as well as managing and motivating bid teams to produce creative solutions for Cushman & Wakefield clients.

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