Job Security, Pay Equity, Inclusion Top Considerations for Women in CRE

The CREW Network, Lawrence, Kan., said American workplaces have experienced a significant shift in how employees view work since COVID.

“This new way of thinking touches on job security, pay equity and inclusion in the workplace,” CREW Network said in its annual report, Building the CRE Workforce of the Future. The report noted 92% of respondents surveyed said they consider their companies inclusive.

“Younger workers especially want to work for companies that espouse their values, which include having a diverse and inclusive workforce,” CREW said. “Female employees at organizations fostering genuine diversity, equity and inclusion report higher levels of engagement, trust and satisfaction with their careers–and say they will keep working for that company longer because of its inclusive culture.”

The report noted a decades-long stagnation in wages and benefits and earnings falling behind inflation pushed many workers to quit during and since the pandemic. “Many workers have been reorienting their priorities, often deciding on a different direction for their careers based on where they want to live instead of where they want to work,” CREW said. “They are also putting more time and energy into caring for their families and want work that allows them more freedom to do so.”

The commercial real estate workforce reflects these trends, the report said. More than two-thirds of survey respondents said they favor working for a company with flexible work arrangements, up two percentage points from last year’s survey. “With a likely recession on the horizon, it remains to be seen if the Great Resignation will continue or if employees will stay for job security in an uncertain economic environment,” CREW said.

The pandemic greatly increased hybrid and remote work opportunities as well as flexible office hours, CREW said. “While those changes are often sought after by women and those with families, more intentional work needs to be done to promote women into leadership in commercial real estate and other predominately male industries,” the report said. “Women in leadership roles are still underrepresented, but their overall job satisfaction has stayed steady.”

Retention strategies should be a top priority for commercial real estate firms, CREW said, noting pay equity remains important, inclusion policies must grow beyond ratios into meaningful measurements and work/life balance will be a major factor for many employees when deciding on career choices.