It’s not exactly news to point out that women have been a force in real estate for decades. Many of the skills that are essential to success in our field—relationship building, negotiation, multitasking and more—just seem to come naturally to us.
However, women are less comfortable touting their skills and experience. In fact, statistics show us that women are significantly less comfortable as compared to men in promoting themselves and owning that power, which results in a broad disparity between promotion and pay for men and women.
To help close the gap, we recently hosted Love Your Power, a digital series that focused on how women can leverage their power to harness professional and personal success. Check out why this series is so important to me here.
I invite you to explore the key insights and 7 actionable steps discussed during the series and don’t forget to download the Love Your Power Workbook to build your own action plan.
Springboard to Your Full Potential
The Marquee Event of Love Your Power was delivered by Dominique Dawes, a three-time Olympic gymnast, a member of the U.S. National Gymnastics team for ten years, and a member of the gold-medal “Magnificent Seven” team that won the all-around Gold Medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Her address, “Springboard to Your Full Potential” touched on her time in the Olympics, dealing with toxic workplace environments, and the camaraderie of being with her teammates “That sisterhood was real.”
One important theme Ms. Dawes stressed was the importance of putting aside your ego for the common good, and being open to other viewpoints. “The message I say to you all is this: You’re on teams, in your work environment. You’re on teams in your home life…take your ego and check it at the door. With your team life, in your work environment, appreciate, respect, have gratitude for those that are working with you.”
There was a particularly powerful exchange was during the Q and A, discussing overcoming difficult situations:
Sue: It’s so hard to drive cultural change, and trying to change a toxic environment? Sometimes it is just removing yourself from that situation and that’s powerful in and of itself.
Dominique: You can’t stay in a toxic environment and not have it permeate and become toxic to your soul. You have to remove yourself.
“What I wanted all along was right under my nose. I just had to ask for it.” — Ida Fields, VP of Agent Marketing and Business Development, Corcoran.
Ida Fields was feeling burned out. After ten years serving as Corcoran’s Advertising and Marketing Director, she was ready for a new challenge.
Her idea was strong, and it addressed a real need in her organization. But during the weeks leading up to her presentation, doubt lingered. “My loud inner critic was screaming who do you think you are? Stay in your lane.”
Fortunately, she didn’t stay in her lane. She brought her proposal to her CEO. Their response: “What do you need?”
By ignoring her inner critic (which we all have), Ida provided a textbook example of how to Love Your Power: speaking up for yourself.
- The Gender Gap in Self-Promotion (2021 study)
- Women are less-inclined to self-promote than men, even for a job. [Harvard Gazette Article].
You can watch the full video with Ida Fields here.
“Courage is not the lack of fear, courage is owning the fear and learning to go through it anyway.”– Dr. Susan Jenkins, Broker/Owner of BHGRE Native American Group.
The Harvard Business Review conducted a five-year study which found that “although 95% of people think they’re self-aware, only 10 to 15% actually are.”
In our careers, we’ve all dealt with people who simply have no idea how they come across. It’s everywhere. You can see it in our peers, bosses, direct reports, clients, and unfortunately, maybe most often in ourselves.
The consequences of dealing with this can be high: low morale, frequent job changes, and lack of overall satisfaction in our careers. During our Love Your Power digital series, we heard from Dr. Susan Jenkins, Broker/Owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Native American Group on ways we can see ourselves more clearly and gain self-awareness.
You can see the video with Dr. Susan Jenkins here.
“Surrounding ourselves with others that have different viewpoints and perspectives can push us to greatness. Networking and mentoring are both a vital part of supporting values for women to ensure representation occurs within the industry.” – Jodi Meyers, Executive Consultant of Growth Strategy, Century 21
We can’t expand our boundaries by staying inside a bubble. Surrounding ourselves with people that have different perspectives and viewpoints is a key to growth.
Jodi Meyers, Executive Consultant of Growth Strategy, Century 21, led the Love Your Power series on collaboration and networking. A highlight to her presentation were her five tips for networking success:
- Do not be afraid of success. Don’t worry about what others think of you or are saying behind your back. Own who you are.
- The secret of success. Success is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you deal with it.
- Do not fly under the radar. Don’t be afraid to take risks in your career. Always put yourself out there.
- Don’t hesitate to put yourself out there. Connect digitally via social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Don’t be afraid to share personal details about you and your life.
- Always support the females in your life. Especially in the workspace. Never be jealous of their success.
Additional resources on collaboration:
- Harvard Business Review article on The Secrets of Successful Female Networkers.
- Forbes Magazine article on Why Women Need to Network Differently Than Men to Get Ahead.
- Fast Company article on The Benefits of Women’s Networking Groups.
You can see the video with Jodi Meyers here.
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” – Katrina Helmkamp, President and CEO of Realogy Leads Group.
It’s not enough to play not to lose. We need to play to win. According to a widely-circulated KPMG Women’s Leadership study, 69% of women are open to taking small risks to advance, but only 43% are willing to take big risks.
Katrina Helmkamp, President and CEO of Realogy Leads Group, led the Love Your Power series on taking risks in your career. She offered an interesting statistic that sheds light on the role that risk-taking plays in career choices for women vs. men.
“Men will apply for a job when they feel they meet 60% of the qualifications, while women won’t apply unless they feel 100% qualified.”
Growth happens outside our comfort zones. In that spirit, Katrina offered encouragement to women thinking about taking on new challenges in their career.
“I would encourage you to actively pursue a stretch role that may feel outside your comfort zone. When thinking about that stretch assignment, focus on the 60% of the role that leverages your strengths, and give yourself permission and time to grow into the other 40%.”
You can see the video with Katrina Helmkamp here.
Lifting Others as We Rise
“As more women take on leadership roles, it becomes important for women to continue to extend opportunities for other women in business.” — Jody Lovell, Broker/Owner, Highlands Sotheby’s International
A rising tide lifts all boats. Career success is more gratifying when we share it with others and give them a chance to shine. It also helps with what’s called “Impostor Syndrome.” Forbes describes this as “feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, low self-confidence and confusion about how (women) in fact, reached the high levels they achieved.”
Jody Lovell, Broker/Owner Highlands Sotheby’s International, touched on these topics during her Love Your Power presentation on lifting and supporting others. “A key approach to lifting other women in business is to encourage, empower, and include my female colleagues when they take a seat at the table to demonstrate their talents and skills.”
You can see the video with Jody Lovell here.
Protecting Personal Boundaries
“Success demands your time to the point it becomes difficult to find a second for yourself. You’re trying to be the best mom, the best wife, the best realtor, the best leader…which of these are going to suffer?” — Denise W. Strother, Broker/Owner, ERA Strother Real Estate
Professional success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s fueled by personal success at home. The Love Your Power series on Protecting Personal Boundaries, led by Denise W Strother, Broker/Owner of ERA Strother Real Estate, touched on ways to boldly build personal guardrails, to ensure a healthier and happier work/life balance.
For Denise, the answer was dancing. A lively dancer, Denise “Stopped being apologetic on what it is that I want to do. So every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3, Denise dances. The world stops for one hour and afterwards I am energized, refreshed, and more creative.” Ironically, the word got around about her dancing, and actually led to more business and name recognition.
Denise’s example provides a powerful lesson in protecting personal boundaries. Her dedication to dance humanized her, and made people want to get to know her even more.
You can see the video with Denise Strother here.
Holding Yourself Accountable
“You want to know where your power comes from? It comes from within. Anyone out there who understands that achieves great success.” — Kate Rossi, Regional EVP of the Eastern Region for Coldwell Banker Realty
At the end of the day, you can’t own or love your power without holding yourself accountable. Kate Rossie, Regional EVP of the Eastern Region for Coldwell Banker Realty implored us to “set goals, set targets and go for it.”
You can see the video with Kate Rossi here.
Where to View the Love Your Power content
Looking for more on the Love Your Power digital series? All of the videos are available on-demand here. Thank you for being part of the What Moves Her community and taking the steps to Love Your Power!
What were your favorite parts? What lessons resonated with you? Have you started putting any of the ideas into practice? Share your progress to Love Your Power with the Community on LinkedIn and Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sue Yannaccone is the Realogy Franchise Group President and Chief Executive Officer and introduced What Moves Her in 2020 to help women in the real estate industry develop their leadership skills and realize their professional development goals. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.