John Yen Wong, Founding Chairman of AREAA, & Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO 2020 Women on Boards on NAWRB Conference, Year of Women

We are thrilled to have the support of John Yen Wong, Founding Chairman of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO and L.A. Chapter Co-chair of 2020 Women on Boards ahead of our 5th Annual Conference in Chicago!

John keeps it simple:: “NAWRB: Great Content, Great Speakers, Great Conferences, Great People, Great Organization.”

While Betsy sums up her strategic alliance with NAWRB this way “ “Congratulations to NAWRB, on your big national conference in Chicago! As CEO of 2020 Women on Boards, I am pleased we have a strategic alliance with NAWRB, as we both dedicate efforts to advance women in their careers, and to be part of the massive campaign to increase the numbers of women directors on corporate boards to at least 20% by the year 2020. We applaud your success as women business leaders in real estate!”

With John and Betsy behind us, we continue to rock our initiatives of advancing women on boards and pushing for diversity and inclusion at every turn.

See you in Chicago!

 

 

 

 

Women Leaders at the Front of the Line – NDILC in the News

Women Leaders at the Front of the Line – NDILC in the News

The NDILC are dedicated to helping raise the number of C-suite women and grow women’s employment at all levels in the housing ecosystem. Read below to find out how our council members are making a difference for women, local communities and the world at large.

Continue reading

Life of a Female Veteran: U.S. Army Combat Veteran Erica Courtney

I am proudly part of the 1.4 percent of American women who served in the military. The day I signed the paperwork to join as a teenager the Gulf War kicked off and I watched tanks fire through the night on TV thinking, “What in the world did I do?” Having grown up in surf city USA (Huntington Beach, CA), I was never exposed to the military. To emphasize this point, the first time I walked into an Army recruiting office I had sand in my hair and sun-kissed skin; I was with a friend of mine and said, “Hi, I am thinking about joining the Marines,” not even understanding the difference in services. The recruiter took a few looks at us, confused, and had to be thinking, “Sucker!” Having always been athletic and adventurous, I thought why not. I would rather try something and hate it than wonder what it would have been like. College was a bore and I was ready for the unknown.

“Get off the bus, you maggots!” Welcome to Military Police Basic Training. What was wrong with these people? Why so much yelling? Okay, bag in hand off the bus I went into the barracks. This is actually where Hollywood gets it right. There’s lots of yelling, climbing, learning, bonding and trying to stay under the radar. Except, I learned early on that was pretty hard for me. I was a runner breaking six-minute miles, and one particular drill sergeant could not stand that there was a female in his fast group and did whatever he could to break me. He was an infantry man where they did not work with women. There were many days of unnecessary hazing to the point he was counseled by the officers. He tried to make me cry, but failed. Many more attempts would follow. I learned early, never let them see you sweat and there is no crying in uniform.

Congratulations. First assignment, Germany. Away from everything I knew. I showed up and was nicknamed Private Benjamin. I was tasked with 12 to 15-hour patrol days and nights responsible for enforcing the Post Commander’s rules and regulations. I was 19 carrying a side arm and had authority most 19-year-olds couldn’t fathom. For any accident that involved an American within 200 miles I would drive out in my VW van with no heater and a blanket draped over me. I’d get out, wipe snow off signs, and arrive to some horrific scenes thanks to the autobahn and no speed limits. The Polezi refused to show up so I had to handle the situations; my first taste of being a first responder and having to show calm and exude control of situations. Our wartime mission dealt with POWs, security and convoy assistance. As the lowest ranking, I got assigned an M60 machine gun then a SAW and had to sleep with this metal thing in my sleeping bag. I was so cold at times I could barely get my fingers to work to shoot, but it’s amazing how warm it gets once in use. After winning over my superiors they assigned me to work with the Criminal Investigation Division infiltrating drug rings and other rackets. This was not my thing. I had a hard time lying about my identity and it did not help that I never touched drugs so I was very uncomfortable. They needed females but I could be put to use better somewhere else.

Continue reading

Increasing the Odds: Building the Female Executive

If you have had the privilege of meeting with senior managers at mortgage and finance companies, you will notice they are overwhelmingly filled with middle-aged, white men. According to Catalyst, women currently hold only 5.8 percent of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies. This tells us that despite all of the progress, women simply have not shattered the glass ceiling.

The fact remains, when it comes to hiring for executive-level positions, the pool of experienced and qualified candidates with relevant experience is predominantly male. This is not to say that women are not just as capable, but if 95 percent of the qualified applicant pool is male, the chances of hiring a female for that role are strikingly low, thus creating a perpetual cycle of hiring men.

To move more women into higher roles, companies need to foster an environment of promoting from within and effectively “break” this continuous cycle. Companies sometimes fail to see the proven talent right before them in their eagerness to bring in someone from the outside with a prior comparable title. Board members usually receive outside candidates with similar experience well because they seem like the right fit on paper. The reality is that after the initial announcement to the company and circulation in industry periodicals, no one ever remembers these prior titles and companies measure performance by innovation rather than a candidate’s prior job history.

The responsibility to foster an environment that promotes from within falls on each of our shoulders. We need to encourage growth from within our own companies, encourage hiring managers and those in decision-making positions to look within the company and allow capable, promising employees the chance to advance from within. To drive this growth, we need to prepare the next generation of executive women to challenge experienced male candidates.

To be a capable candidate for an executive role requires having a clear vision of your goals and career path. Planning will help you to avoid many costly detours along the way and improve your chances of arriving at your final destination.

Career goals are different from performance goals at work and they are certainly not a New Year’s Resolution, which is good, because hardly anyone achieves those! Unlike performance goals—which are usually SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound)—career goals should be HARD (Heartfelt, Animated, Required and Difficult). Goals need to be difficult enough to propel one forward, making traction toward the final destination.

It is important to remember that you will never achieve a goal you don’t set, yet the majority of the population does not have written goals. The mere act of writing down goals will set you apart from peers. However, setting the goal is just part of the battle.

According to statistics from Workboard, 93 percent of the workforce cannot translate their goals into actions, and only 7 percent of people know what they need to do to execute a goal. Similar statistics from Inc. indicate only 8 percent of the population can achieve a goal they set annually—this does not even speak to goals that span the course of decades.

How can women best position themselves to reach their career goals? In addition to their HARD career goals, they must select the right mentor. Sharing goals with a mentor can help maintain focus and develop the roadmap needed to execute your vision. The right mentor is vital to developing the skills needed to translate goals into action and continue career growth, particularly for women who are at a disadvantage.

In identifying a mentor, it is arguable that women are far more successful when mentored by other women. Women are known for their ability to relate to an audience. It is important to have a mentor who can help you grow to find your own voice and present ideas in a way that is confident, persuasive and natural. Women mentored by other women can better find a delivery method that is their own because they share common strengths and understandings. Bottom line: women need to find their own voice and they will not find it if trying to sound like a man.

My advice to women is not to let life pass by. Take control and propel forward into that dream job with confidence and the necessary skills. When doing so, do not forget that you would not be as strong without a community of supportive women, each of which have a duty help mentor the next generation.

Thank you,

Robyn Markow
AVP Client Relations
Quality Claims Management Corp.