The Glass Ceiling

by Vanessa Montañez

Does the Glass Ceiling exist in today’s world of equality? What do you think? I think the facts speak for themselves.

We all know women earn less than men. Women who worked full-time, year-round in 2014 earned, on average, 79 percent of men’s median annual earnings, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over the years the gender wage gap has lessened but we are still too slow in our progress.

This past presidential election showed that we are still not ready for the first female President of the United States of America. Of the 195 independent countries in the world, only 17 are led by women, according to the U.S. State Department. “I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in the glass ceiling yet,” stated Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC). Are we one step closer?

The National Association of Women in Real Estate Business (NAWRB) Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (NDLIC) brings women’s diversity and inclusion to the forefront of the housing ecosystem with accountability and results by raising the number of women in the housing finance industry. The numbers look promising for women looking for a career in real estate, as 62 percent of all Realtors® are female, according to the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Member Profile.

On the C-suite level the numbers are inadequate. The 2015 Catalyst Census reveals that men held 80.1 percent of S&P 500 board seats, while women only held 19.9 percent and men held 73.1 percent of S&P 500 new directorships, while women only held 26.9 percent. The Census also found that: 2.8 percent of S&P 500 companies had zero women directors; 24.6 percent had one woman; and only 14.2 percent of companies had 30 percent or more women on their boards. Within S&P 500 companies, women held: 4.2 percent of CEO positions, 9.5 percent of top earner positions, 25.1 percent of executive/senior-level officials and managers positions, 36.4 percent of first/mid-level officials and managers positions; additionally, 44.3 percent of total employees were women.

Women need to achieve higher educational attainment with advanced degrees in their respective fields. The more education once receives the more income one earns. Women also need to study fields where men have predominantly dominated. Examples would start with STEMF, a term I altered to include science, technology, engineering, mathematics and finance.

Take risks in your career. Apply for the position you want but may not feel qualified for because you do not meet every qualification of the job. Women need to break the glass ceiling at every level. Whether you are starting your career or making a change in your career. It all starts with you.

Expanding Your Business Through Innovation


Every entrepreneur knows age-old business advice—study your market, build relationships, know your competition, find a mentor, have a business plan—as well they should; it’s decisive advice that works. But what can you do when you have invested in these proven strategies for years, built your business on them, and suddenly plateau?

Business strategists and other successful entrepreneurs can provide sage words, but you know your business best. If you’re employing a technique you innovated, you can beautifully separate yourself from the competition.

In a blog post last year, Gary Vaynerchuk, “serial” entrepreneur, investor and public speaker stated, “Your 2016 plan should be to start paying attention to the white space; where are things not happening yet that you think could be huge?”

This is the mindset needed to take your business to places it has never been; where are the empty spaces, the opportunities, in which your business can become a pioneer? How can you expand your book of business through innovation?

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Utilize Your Resources to Build a Winning Business Plan


From marketing to your audience, recruiting effectively and leveraging technology, there are several crucial facets to creating a successful business, not the least of which is utilizing the resources at your disposal to grow business accomplishments.

As a real estate professional, you have to think outside the box in order to thrive in the competitive housing ecosystem. One of these innovative ideas is working with the government. As a real estate professional dealing with properties in your community and county, you may not think you are suited or qualified to work with the government, but you may be.
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Capitalizing on your Business Classification – Women-owned


Theme: The Innovators: Sure-fire Strategies from Today’s Top Marketers

Capitalizing on your Business Classification – Women-owned

In today’s competitive business arena, a minute detail or decision can mean the difference between long-term success and immediate failure. In the real estate industry, where networking and connections play such a significant role in business performance, what you and your business connote is particularly vital.

As a professional in this highly competitive marketplace, not utilizing the business classifications at your disposal is an oversight. A strategy as old as the industry itself is tailoring to your community. You must play to your strengths, and increasing your business’s appeal to a particular market including potential homebuyers is essential. For women business owners, the utilization of women-owned business classification is vital.
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Growing Your Business to Include an Affluent Global Clientele


Is part of your 2016 business plan to attract a more global, affluent clientele? The world is getting smaller and smaller, particularly for those with means who are even more world-wise than previous generations. Therefore, growing your business to target, attract and retain this appealing demographic makes sense. However, it’s not for everyone. Attracting affluent patrons outside of your market can be expensive and difficult, yet extremely lucrative. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), foreigners pay on average nearly $500,000 for a house, compared to the national average of $256,000. As you think about expanding your business, knowing how to navigate this world and heeding a few key pieces of advice can make all the difference between notable success and spectacular failure.
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NAWRB Responds to Proposed Rule on Overtime Eligibility

DOL Overtime Eligibility

The Honorable Thomas E. Perez
Secretary, Department of Labor
Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

The Honorable Dr. David Weil
Administrator, Wage and Hour Division
Department of Labor
Frances Perkins Building
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

Re: National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) Comments:
“Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees; Proposed Rule and Request for Comment”

Dear Secretary Perez and Administrator Weil,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) focusing on increasing the overtime eligibility for millions of Americans who are currently classified as exempt workers.

The National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) is the most visible women’s trade association specializing in the housing economy. NAWRB is dedicated to providing women the tools and opportunities for economic growth and expansion, while advocating and promoting women-owned businesses in housing. We are the only third-party industry-specific certifier of Women-Owned Businesses (WOB) and Minority Women-Owned Businesses (MWOB) in the housing economy.

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Market Your Products and Services Nationwide with NAWRB


Advertise your products and services in NAWRB Magazine to appeal to a nationwide client base. Beginning next issue, we will highlight a variety of states in each magazine. We’ll divulge the best cities to invest your money in our chosen states. From the sunny shores of California to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, our next issue will give you a taste of four different states and what it means in terms of housing.

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What’s the SCORE?

Last month you read about all the fantastic resources available to you through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and its resource partners, including SCORE. This month we delve deeper into how SCORE assists entrepreneurs like you in starting and growing business enterprises every day all across the country.

Started in 1964, SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, SCORE has assisted over 10 million of America’s entrepreneurs in that time. As a national organization, SCORE is comprised of over 11,000 volunteers available at 320+ locations throughout the country and online. In 2013, the work of SCORE’s volunteer mentors and small business clients resulted in 38,630 new businesses started and 67,319 new jobs created in the U.S.

SCORE accomplishes these results through a variety of methods including educational workshops, webinars, and helpful online resources, but the real value that sets it apart from other organizations is free, personalized, one-on-one mentoring by business experts who have truly “been there and done that.” SCORE’s brigade of 11,000+ volunteer mentors is made up of men and women who are both retired and currently working, with experience in a huge variety of industries and fields. And true to the organization’s motto, SCORE mentors are there to assist “For the Life of Your Business” – from concept to creation, through growth and even eventual exit.

With 320+ chapters, many with their own additional branch locations, and a robust online educational offering, SCORE seeks to serve entrepreneurs through whichever information outlet is most convenient for them. One chapter in particular located in Orange County, California was recently named the 2013 SCORE Chapter of the Year for its commitment to excellence in serving entrepreneurs.

SCORE Orange County (OC) consistently serves the highest number of clients of all the SCORE chapters across the nation. In 2013 alone, SCORE OC helped start 774 new businesses, grow 1,082 businesses and create 327 new jobs in their community. But this chapter succeeds in much more than volume alone – a culture of innovation is their hallmark, driving continual expansion and improvement in services, bringing more and more clients into their educational and mentoring services.

One of the most groundbreaking developments to come out of Orange County is the concept of the CEO Forum program. These forums consist of monthly half-day collaborative meetings of small business owners that are facilitated by SCORE mentors. SCORE OC hosts seven of these ongoing forums with over 80 small business owners, and the concept has now been successfully replicated in a number of other SCORE chapters, including Minneapolis and San Diego.

Larry Tucker, SCORE Chairman.

SCORE OC has also made it a priority to effectively serve female entrepreneurs by hosting bi-monthly Women in Business Breakfasts that facilitate learning and networking, as well as annual Women Business Owners Conferences. The annual conference is a fantastic opportunity for female business owners to hear from knowledgeable speakers, learn from successful peers and network with others.

In fact, SCORE OC has been so successful in helping local businesses start and grow that two of their small business clients were chosen from nominees across the country to be honored with national SCORE awards in August of 2013.

ViArch Integrated Solutions, a leading provider of automated precision measurement and control solutions, was named the 2013 SCORE Outstanding Minority-Owned Small Business award winner. Owners Angela and Eric Jones teamed up to start their business in April of 2008. They both had the technical know-how to achieve great results for their prospective clients in the aerospace industry, but needed help with their marketing and sales tactics. They worked with SCORE OC mentor John Pietro to create a thorough and thoughtful plan to keep their enterprise on track towards their goals. Angela reflects on the start of their business saying, “We spent a lot of wasted effort reacting to issues we could have anticipated and addressed ahead of time, had we only done a bit of planning at the start. After working with SCORE Orange County, we gained critical business knowledge and management skills, and are in a better position to plan and strategize as well as operate our business effectively going forward. Compared to the alternative, I much prefer having a ‘map’ directing us where we are going, with a plan for addressing hurdles when they arise.”ViArch now boasts an impressive list of clients including The Boeing Company.

SCORE mentors are there to assist “For the Life of Your Business.”

Orange County’s second national award winner caters to a slightly different clientbase: pet lovers! Dog is Good, a pet-themed retail operation in Los Alamitos, took home the 2013 SCORE Outstanding Veteran-Owned Small Business award. Owners Jon and Gila Kurtz knew being entrepreneurs was in their blood. In 2005 the couple recognized a void in the pet marketplace and seized the opportunity to start their own business. By 2008, Jon (an active captain in the U.S. Navy) and Gila (a professional dog trainer) began designing and selling dog-themed apparel at small retail events such as charity dog walks and fundraisers. Eventually they began selling their products in retail stores in Orange County and Los Angeles County. By the end of 2009, their revenues had nearly quadrupled, and sales have grown every year since then. When Jon and Gila needed help taking their business to the next level they turned to SCORE OC and met with Tom Patty, a marketing expert and SCORE mentor, who helped them focus their message to keep it centered on their core audience. With these defined goals in mind, the Kurtzes have begun licensing other products and are now branching into cat and horse products as well.

FRONT ROW: Chair, Larry Tucker; Vice-Chair Outreach, David Harris | BACK ROW: Secretary, Lynn Dines; Treasurer, Zach Smith; Vice-Chair Operations, Rico Becerra; Vice-Chair Events, Bruno Windegger; Assistant Secretary, Elissa Warantz.

ViArch Integrated Solutions and Dog is Good are just two of the 10 million small business owners who have benefited from working with SCORE mentors over the past 50 years. And SCORE Orange County is just one chapter of more than 320 across the country that is dedicated to helping small businesses start and grow. With free expert business advice just a click or call away, why not take advantage of the wisdom and insight a SCORE mentor can bring to your business? Get started at or by calling 1-800-634-0245.

sheCENTER(FOLD): Interview with Sheri Orlowitz


With over two decades of experience in developing, acquiring and divesting a myriad of companies, Sheri L. Orlowitz has proven to be a powerhouse women entrepreneur in male-dominated fields. She reveals to NAWRB her entrepreneurial experience abroad as a delegate for the State Department, strategies for women entrepreneurs to expand globally, and the story of her newest exciting venture, Artemis Holdings Group, dedicated to helping domestic and international businesses acquire, expand, finance, or successfully sell their businesses.

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