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Posted 08 Aug 16 By: No comments yet

Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Meet the women breaking the glass ceiling at NM commercial real estate groups

Next year, women will take the helm of five major commercial real estate organizations in New Mexico, proving women are making strides in what has been known as a male-dominated industry.

NAIOP New Mexico, a commercial real estate organization that has become a leading business advocacy group in town, will be led by Cynthia Schultz, the CEO of Bradbury Stamm.

Schultz commands the second biggest general contractor company in New Mexico, which had $183.45 million in gross billings in 2015. Bradbury Stamm has been behind some of the state's high-profile projects, and is the general contractor for Albuquerque Rapid Transit.

Amy Coburn, the director of planning, design and construction at the University of New Mexico, will lead the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute. She's been in charge of seeing some of the major changes underway at UNM, mainly thenew $25 million building for the UNM Anderson School of Management.

Debbie Dupes, a senior associate with CBRE New Mexico, will head CCIM, an organization for brokers with a certain professional designation. Marguerite Haverly, an associate with CBRE New Mexico, will lead the Commercial Association of Realtors News Mexico (CARNM). CARNM, with its board of directors and members, operates a computerized database of thousands of property and business listings.

And Jeanie Springer-Knight, a Rio Rancho developer and principal of Springer 5 Investments credited with leading Unser Gateway and NAIOP's Rio Rancho Rountable, will head the New Mexico chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women next year.

Though commercial real estate is known as a male-dominated industry, more and more women have been promoted to leadership positions within commercial real estate companies nationwide.

A new study by CREW, a report called the 2015 Benchmark Study Report, showed there are more women in senior vice president, managing director and partner roles at commercial real estate firms. CREW partnered with the MIT Center for Real Estate as an independent research partner, which analyzed surveys from 2,182 women in the commercial real estate industry.

There are several women in C-suite positions in Albuquerque's commercial real estate sector. For example, Debbie Harms is the CEO of NAI Maestas & Ward, the second-largest commercial real estate firm in Albuquerque, according to Business First's top commercial real estate firms list. Harms oversees 24 brokers at the company, which pulled in $311.7 million in deals in 2015. What's more, she's part of a team that's investing in new developments and redevelopments, including an office to condo conversion in Uptown.

While the study showed more women are satisfied with their careers than ever before, it pointed out that women suffer from what they call an "aspiration gap." While 40 percent of men want to reach a C-suite position, only 28 percent of women in commercial real estate want the same career advancement, those surveyed said.

Nationwide, the income gap for women in C-suite positions was the widest at 23.3 percent, the study said. While men in leadership positions made $150,000, women had an annual median salary of $115,000.

By:  Stephanie Guzman, Reporter-Albuquerque Business First

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