In your opinion, what priority measures should be adopted to improve gender equality in the real estate sector?
In my opinion, the priority measure, which is also the most complex, concerns the “cognitive bias” which still hinders major behavioral changes. It is a converging trend: men must learn to trust and accept a greater variety of profiles, while women must gain more self-confidence, believe in their legitimacy, assert their talent and fight against the “impostor syndrome”. The good news is that these changes are better integrated by young generations which ask fewer questions and consider young generations which consider gender equality as the norm.
The second line of action concerns women’s visibility in the real estate sphere. Some of the managers we interviewed said that they had difficulty in identifying applicants to fill certain positions. Yet, very often, these female profiles are much more prevalent than they seem – the problem is that they are not visible enough to be identified and then hired. Concrete measures need to be taken to help women to participate in more social and community events in the real estate sector – conferences, professional circles, associations… – and nurture their network to boost their visibility.
Third challenge: promoting real estate professions among the young generations to increase the pool of female employees in the sector. Businesses must be committed to secondary and higher education to form gender diverse teams. This may involve internships, raising awareness of real estate professions at open days, or field immersion. The aim is to convey passion for the profession, remove certain psychological barriers and make women want to become senior executives in the sector.