Dress Your Way to Parity?

November 19, 2019
Written by: Wendy Mann, CAE, CREW Network CEO

Jennifer Nettles

Do you ever watch awards shows? I always love seeing the amazing gowns at the Oscars and Grammys. As a young girl, my mother always made my prom dress, so my tastes were fairly simple. Though she let me design for myself, too! I do remember a particular mint green, one shoulder dress that was quite classic. 

When I saw the Twitter feed from the CMAs (Country Music Awards) last week, I was wowed by one particular outfit: Jennifer Nettles wearing a white pant suit with a pink draped train. When she opened the wingspan of the train, she had a message to the country music industry. I won’t share verbatim, but basically, she was asking that the industry play women’s music as much as they play men’s records. I wasn’t aware this was an issue, but now that I’ve heard about it, I agree that you hear more male country artists on the radio than women. 

We’ve seen this equality message in Hollywood and now the music industry. Commercial real estate can’t be far behind, can it? 

While I won’t be wearing any outfits with our message, I can assure you that through our white papers and our benchmark study, we are getting the message to companies that are embracing the value and business imperative of diversity, inclusion and equity. Our time is now, and we are moving forward to push this shift in paradigm more quickly. Our recent white paper, Accelerating the Advancement of Women in Commercial Real Estate, documents that status in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. and provides tactics for making change. 

When Nettles walked away from the cameras, you could see her final message across her back: EQUAL PLAY. For our industry, we would change that to EQUAL PAY. And of course, it’s the right thing for women and men to be paid equally for equal work. 

Jennifer Nettles at the 2019 Country Music Awards

Nettles said, “Where I see a truth, I’m going to say it.” Amen, sister. 

We see the truth in CRE. We say it. Let’s change it. Now is the time.


Wendy Mann, CAE

Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.

Twitter: @crew_wendym


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