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Urban Land Institute Works To Bridge Gender Divide

Panel of Real Estate Industry Experts to Present at 'Women in Workplace: Growing in Every Generation' in Orange County

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - March 21, 2017 - Rezul -- In keeping with its practice of leadership and forward thinking innovation, the Urban Land Institute Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) is set to host the "Women in the Workplace: Growing in Every Generation," where a five-member panel of distinguished women professionals, representing each generation, will speak on their experience in the mostly male-dominated real estate and building industry.

The event, meant to raise awareness about the gender divide between men and women in the real estate and building industry, is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 26 at Gensler, located at 4675 MacArthur Court in Newport Beach.

According to a survey by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), women make up 25 percent of ULI's membership, but only account for 14 percent of its CEOs. Among survey respondents, 93 percent of those female CEOs oversee small firms with fewer than 100 employees.

"This is going to be a great opportunity to hear from a diverse set of voices of every generation – Millennial and beyond – about their experiences in the real estate industry and how a new generation of women can leverage their own skills and experience into a career of inspiration and innovation," said panelist and keynote speaker Nina Gruen, Executive Vice President, Principal Sociologist. She is also the author of "Believe It or Not: The Challenges Facing One Professional Woman a Half Century Ago," which will be provided to attendees.
Gruen will be joined by such industry experts as Dr. Soraya Coley, President, Cal Poly Pomona; Joan-Marcus Colvin, CMO, The New Home Company; Anne Bretana, Senior Associate, IIDA, Gensler; and Nairi Siddiqi, Associate at Stuart Kane LLP.

Speaking on her own experience as a Generation X-er (1965-1979), Anne Bretana shares: "Since I graduated college, the U.S. has been through three major economic downturns, so many Gen Xers have experienced tremendous uncertainty in their professional lives. As we came out of each downturn, I realized more and more of my design peers and colleagues were leaving the architecture industry. Through these challenging periods, I learned that perseverance and flexibility were my keys to success."

All of the panelists will take questions and offer tips for advancing women in the field for a rewarding career and chance to shape the future of real estate innovation.

According to the Orange County Business Council, the Orange County workplace is comprised of 21% Millennials; the current median age is 38 years old, which is a substantial increase over the median age of 33 in 2000. The OC also leads the region, state and nation in job creation (+39,000, 4.4% unemployment).
"Ultimately, we want to see more women in leadership roles in the industry. And that can happen, especially through networking events such as these, where we educate and support each other's efforts to expand the horizons of women in the real estate workplace," said Christine Obnial, a Millennial and Women's Leadership Initiative Executive Committee member.

The Urban Land Institute's Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) was established to promote the advancement of women, throughout their careers, as leaders within the real estate industry. The goal was to increase the number of women who serve in leadership positions, increase the visibility of women leaders and increase the number of women who are active and support the development of young women members as leaders in the ULI and in their professions.

To learn more about the Urban Land Institute Orange County / Inland Empire event and tickets, call (714) 342-2965 or visit http://www.orangecounty.uli.org.

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Source: Urban Land Institute

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