Sexual harassment is unacceptable. No member of CREW Network, our leadership or staff condones sexual harassment. Our organization works to address this issue through all our initiatives.
An article in Forbes highlighted some crucial reasons why sexual harassment occurs. The article points out that sexual harassment is a power issue. The imbalance of power in companies, as well as a culture that sidesteps or ignores this aspect of culture, becomes an environment which leads to unacceptable behavior.
In the article, Allyson Zimmerman, executive director of Catalyst Europe states: “The larger issue of sexual harassment is a clear disparity of power at the top of an organization…When you see that there is a disparity of power in the organization, you see sexual harassment increase and when you see power shared across gender, you see harassment decreasing.”
CREW Network has stayed true to its mission and focused on delivering our white papers and benchmark studies to provide insights, tactics and information for companies to address cultural issues which will increase equity and parity for women in the industry. We support women through professional and leadership development so that when executive leadership opportunities are available, they have the skills to advance, thereby increasing women in the C-suite—leveling the power imbalance and creating a culture that reduces sexual harassment.
In another Forbes article, author Avivah Wittenberg-Cox states that “If your systems don’t align with your company’s gender objectives, they are mostly sabotaging them. Used well, they accelerate balance by nudging new behavior.”
CREW Network provides data and resources to help industry leaders address systemic issues. Through our action guides and practical tips for companies to implement, we stand by our members and deliver the tools to shift the paradigm for women in the industry. Has there been progress in the industry? Yes. Does there need to be more? Definitely. We recognize and applaud all companies that are taking steps to transform their company culture and address systemic issues to support and advance women.
We care deeply about our members. CREW Network provides a support network like no other. We have been and always will be focused on the well-being of and opportunities for our members. Our business network, professional development opportunities and leadership training make a significant impact on our members capabilities and success in their work and career.
We stay true to our mission, knowing that if we are focused on addressing workplace culture, bias, pay parity and equity for women, systemic issues will be resolved, and women will advance with an equal power balance in the commercial real estate workforce.
One of my favorite slogans has become the mantra for my radio show: Never give up your power. Our voice is our power. I, along with the CREW Network board of directors, support all women in our industry who have the courage to speak up about their personal experiences.
As always, we’ve got your back.
Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.
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