Confidence is something that many women professionals struggle with, but it’s not something you can find—instead, it’s something that must be developed over time, according to Gemini Rosemont Commercial Real Estate SVP of asset management Tina Renee McCall, a CREW Atlanta member who spoke during the Women in Commercial Real Estate breakfast at the recent BOMA International Convention & Expo in Washington, D.C.
You don't necessarily just find confidence in projects that you do well, but also when you fall flat on your face, she says. "You learn from your mistakes, and it helps you find your confidence as you move forward.”
Also critical is mentorship. McCall recommends that when you pick a mentor, find someone with whom you can have a mutual relationship, trust inherently and work with through the good, bad and ugly. This person should be separate from your sponsor, or the in-house person you tell all your good things to and who’ll elevate you when you’re not in the room.
Why is being a positive role model important? McCall points out that this confidence gap not only exists between the sexes, but generations as well. She recalls a conversation she had while coaching her two daughters’ softball teams:
"One of the 6-year-olds on the team looked at me and said, 'You can't be a coach, you're a girl,'" she recalls. "These young girls still have something instilled in them that a man can do this, but a woman cannot."
Another recommendation: Be present at your jobs, so when assignments and opportunities are being handed out, you’re raising your hand and raising it quickly.
"We are each other's own worst enemy,” she notes. “If we can agree to help other women and mentor them, we will get these opportunities and narrow the confidence gap.”
McCall joined Cushman & Wakefield managing director of assets services - Americas Missy Quinn, JHI Properties CEO Nomzamo Radebe, Colliers International national director of healthcare services Mary Beth Kuzmanovich and Akridge SVP of property management Kathryn Barnes for the annual breakfast, which attracted 225 attendees. BOMA projected findings from the 2015 CREW Network Benchmark Study Report and other relevant research related to commercial women in real estate in the session.
For more from the breakfast, read the coverage in Bisnow.
Amanda Marsh is the founder of Buzzmaestro, which provides business writing, editing, and consulting services to real estate and other industries. Previously, she was a commercial real estate journalist with Bisnow and Commercial Property News. She has been a member of CREW New York since 2015, is co-chair of the 2016 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace marketing committee, and serves on her local chapter’s Communications Committee, as well as CREW Network’s Communications and Editorial Committee.