If you’re making more than $250,000 in the commercial real estate industry, you're most likely a man.
A new, in-depth comparison of women and men in the commercial real estate field finds the pay gap narrowing, but men are still much more likely to be making the really big bucks.
The survey found that 31 percent of men and 11 percent of women in the commercial real estate industry reported more than $250,000 in total annual compensation in 2010. In 2005, 34 percent of men and 8 percent of women were in that top-tier wage bracket.
On the other hand, 28 percent of women but just 12 percent of men reported that they take home less than $75,000 in the most recent study. In 2005, 32 percent of women and 11 percent of men said they were taking home less than $75,000.
“The gap definitely still exists,” said Kristin Blount, senior vice president and partner with Colliers Meredith and Grew in Boston, and current president of the CREW Network, an industry networking organization for women.
The research is based on a survey of nearly 3,000 commercial real estate professionals in fields ranging from brokers to engineers, and it uses comparisons from a similar study done in 2005. It was sponsored by the CREW Network and prepared by researchers at Cornell University Program in Real Estate.
The narrowing pay gap can be partly seen as a sign that women are making headway in the most lucrative positions and commercial real estate fields.
But the researchers said the changes may also partly be explained by the recession, which may have hit men in the profession harder than women. That's because, especially at the upper pay levels, more of men's pay is coming from things like bonuses and commissions that are more likely to drop in a difficult market.
“I think it’s probably a little bit of both,” Blount said.
Still, the survey found that women’s pay was lower even when the women were the same age and had the same years of experience as their male counterparts.