Nine Women in Commercial Real Estate We Admire

Women play an important role in real estate and have defined skylines and developments around the world. They hold roles as developers, builders, designers, financiers, and pretty much every other part of the real estate lifecycle. In commercial real estate, women make up just 35% of senior executive positions. According to research from CREW Network, women make 23.3% less than men in commercial real estate.

We have a long way to go to ensure that women are equally represented and compensated in commercial real estate. At RealtyShares, we are proud of the female diversity in our organization, with over a third of the leadership positions held by women, and we ensure fair and equal pay regardless of gender or any other kind of diversity.

We are excited to be a member of the commercial real estate community and its efforts to make the industry a more diverse. This International Women’s Day, we want to recognize some of the women who operate in the world of commercial real estate and inspire us!

Susie Algard

Algard is the CEO of, a marketplace connecting tenants searching for local office space with local brokers. She has a proven track record of success, driving consumer business from $0 to over $50 million in revenue. In January, she also took over as Executive Chair of the Board, evidence of the company’s faith in her ability to lead to great results.

Jen Berrent

Longtime attorney Jen Berrent joined WeWork as Chief Legal Officer and Chief Cultural Officer, and just three years later found herself promoted into the role of WeWork’s Chief Operating Officer. Berrent first encountered WeWork as outside counsel, and CEO Miguel McKelvey recently told TechCrunch that Berrent is central to an internal reorganization of the company’s workers to better support the company’s rapid growth.

MaryAnne Gilmartin

President and CEO at Forest City Ratner in New York City, MaryAnne Gilmartin is an industry veteran with roles in some of New York’s most exciting projects, such as the 52 story, 1.5 million square foot New York Times building and a 76-story Lower Manhattan skyscraper at 8 Spruce Street. Not one to shy from controversy, she led the $4 billion redevelopment of an area in Brooklyn now known as Pacific Park. She left her mark on the New York skyline, and continues to make her mark in the real estate industry as a whole.

Wendy Mann

CEO of CREW Network, Wendy Mann is a 30-year industry veteran in commercial real estate. CREW is a premier commercial real estate referral network with a mission to “transform the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally.” With over 10,000 members, Mann is a clear leader in bringing women to the forefront of commercial real estate with a mighty influence on the industry.

Pam O’Connor

After a long and storied career, Pam O’Connor will retire at the end of March 2018 from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, where she has served as President and CEO since 1997. Also known as LeadingRE. She turned the organization into one with 565-member firms in 65 countries, founded a corporate relocation company, built an online learning platform, and much more. In 1985, she became the first woman to lead a major real estate network, paving a path for other successful women to follow. She was named #26 on the Swanepoel Power 200 list of powerful leaders in real estate for 2017. While she is leaving her role as President and CEO, she plans to remain with LeadingRE as a member of the board of directors and will remain an active consultant in the real estate industry.

Diana Olick

CNBC Real Estate Reporter Diana Olick is a nationally known expert in all things real estate. As contributor at Today and NBC Nightly News, Olick is seen on TV screens around the nation. Olick is an award-winning blogger, receiving a Gracie Award for “Outstanding Blog” in 2015, her influence in the real estate markets in undeniable. Follow her regular updates at the Realty check blog at CNBC.

Andrea Olshan

Harvard and Columbia educated Andrea Olshan is a powerful real estate mogul and head of Olshan Companies. She owns and manages 29 million square feet of commercial and residential properties including hotels, stores, and apartment buildings. Her influence extends across 11 states. Only 37 years old, leads the company and is in the midst of a bold bet on the future of brick-and-mortar retail in the online shopping era.

MaryAnne Tighe

MaryAnne Tighe is the only woman in the top 20 of Commercial Observers Power 100 list. Tighe is CEO of the New York Tri-State Region at CBRE, one of the largest commercial property management firms in the world. The career broker dominates New York office leasing, with $3.1 billion in leases signed in 2016. The former Real Estate Board of New York Chair is an eight-time Deal of the Year winner, which in the crowded New York market is an incredible feat.

Diane Vrkic

Vrkic is the founder and CEO of Waypoint. Waypoint is a software and analytics provider for commercial buildings changing the way commercial real estate decision-makers access and use information to improve the performance of their assets. Vrkic has over 20 years’ experience in the industry. This brilliant woman earned her medical doctor degree in 1997 at Georgetown before pivoting into the consulting and real estate industries.

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