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(Updated April 2015)

There are few industries remaining today that have not seen a drastic change in the role that women play, and real estate and relocation are certainly not immune to these changes. Historically, women have been involved in real estate almost since its inception in 1794 and its establishment as a legitimate business in the 1840s. In real estate's early days, women filled office and clerical roles, but by the 1880s, women were already moving into the roles of agents and brokers, though at a relatively slow rate. Nationwide, women brokers dominate the residential real estate market, but have yet to make a major entrance into the more lucrative commercial market. This page includes articles, books and web sites related to issues facing women in the real estate industry. (D. McCormick, Operations Analyst)

- EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Demographic Characteristics of REALTORS®

The median age of REALTORS® has steadily increased in recent years from 51 years of age in 2007 to 57 in 2013. The majority of members are women with a college education. REALTORS® frequently have had careers in other fields prior to real estate, the most common being in management, business, and financial professions, followed by sales and retail. Only 6 percent indicated that real estate is their first career.

Source: 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile

Women and the Real Estate Profession

Trailblazer for women in real estate, (Triangle Business Journal, Mar. 13, 2015).

Who are the top women in real estate?, (Fortune, Nov. 17, 2014).

Female Entrepreneurs Lead U.S. Business Growth, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 10, 2014).

Real estate: Where are the women?, (San Francisco Business Times, May 16, 2014).

The market won’t stop them: Women go into real estate, (Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 5, 2014).

Real Estate Needs More Women in Leadership Roles (Inman, Mar. 21, 2013).

U.S. Women Gain in Real Estate with Long Way to Go (Bloomberg, Jan. 9, 2013).

Where Are All the Women Leaders in Real Estate? (Inman Next, Aug. 20, 2012).

Is Real Estate a Man’s or Woman’s World? (Trulia Trends, Oct. 13, 2011).

Who are the “Trixies” and are they hurting Women in Real Estate? (The Grindstone, Sept. 6, 2011).

Women making great strides in Nevada business (Vegas Inc., May 8, 2011).

In charge of her own destiny (Dallas Business Journal, Dec. 8, 2006).

"Rosie the REALTOR®" and the Re-gendering of Real Estate Brokerage, 1930-1960 (Enterprise & Society, June 2002). E

Women in Commercial Real Estate

The Boys’ Club: Are Men From Mars and Women from Venus When it Comes to NYC CRE?, (Commercial Observer, Jan. 28, 2015).

Successful Women in Commercial Real Estate Featuring Cathy Jones, (National Association of REALTORS®, Dec. 18, 2014).

Property Rounds: Women Closing Gap in Commercial Real Estate Market, (NewsTimes, Dec. 10, 2014).

Why Women in CRE Are Job Hunting, (GlobeSt.com, Apr. 10, 2014).

Kilberg helps women succeed in real estate, (Atlanta Business Chronicle, Nov. 22, 2013).

It’s not just a man’s world in commercial real estate, (Denver Business Journal, Nov. 15, 2013).

Environmental, social changes drawing more women to commercial real estate, (REjournals.com, Oct. 25, 2013).

Women build ranks as commercial brokers; mentoring programs help, (Crain's Detroit Business, Oct. 2, 2013).

North Jersey women bridge commercial real estate gender gap,  (NorthJersey.com, Aug. 18, 2013).

Women in CRE continue to battle glass ceiling, (Finance & Commerce, June 7, 2013).

Women In Commercial Real Estate Speak Out On Industry’s Increased Diversity, Room for Improvement (Commercial Observer, Dec. 11, 2012).

Real estate offers good careers for women (The Business Times, Nov. 20, 2012).

Women In Commercial Real Estate: Profiles In Success (The Source, Aug. 9, 2012).

Women In Commercial Real Estate: High Time We Bridged the Gap (Picor Connect, July 3, 2012).

Men earn more in commercial real estate (Insidebiz.com, Apr. 22, 2011).

More Women Entering Commercial Real Estate, But Wage Gap Endures (Buildings, Dec. 2010). E

Women aim to grow in commercial real estate (Boston Business Journal, May 10, 2010).

Women Lose Ground in C-Suite (National Real Estate Investor, Sept. 1, 2009). 

Women pry open door of male preserve: commercial real estate (Business Review, Nov. 6, 2006).

Recruiting and promoting women needs to be an industry standard (Baltimore Business Journal, Nov. 3, 2006).

More women are now entering field of commercial real estate (Denver Business Journal, July 28, 2006).

Women rising in commercial real estate (Buffalo Business First, Apr. 14, 2006).

Virtually No Gains (National Real Estate Investor, Dec. 2005). E

Organizations for Women in Real Estate

Association of Real Estate Women

Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW Network)

New England Women in Real Estate (NEWIRE)

New York Commercial Real Estate Women

Women in Real Estate (WIRE)

Women's Council of REALTORS® (WCR)

Books, eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Wise Women Invest in Real Estate (Adobe eReader)

Ask for It (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Confessions of a Resilient Entrepreneur (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Corporate Tribalism (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Down to Business (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

For Women Only (Overdrive Audio)

In Good Company (Adobe eReader)

Kiplinger's Money Smart Women (Overdrive Audio)

The Myth of Work-Life Balance (Adobe eReader)

Seven Secrets of Successful Women: Success Strategies of the Women Who Have Made It—And How You Can Follow Their Lead (Adobe eReader)

Smart Women Finish Rich (Adobe eReader)

Time Management Secrets for Working Women (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Women and Equality in the Workplace (Adobe eReader)

Women & Money (Overdrive Audio)

Women Count (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013). HD 6054.3 S265

Ebby Halliday: The First Lady of Real Estate (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2009). HD 1382.5 H15

Framing a domain for work and family: a study of women in residential real estate sales work (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2002). HD 1375 W55

workingmoms.calm: How smart women balance family and career (Thomson-Southwestern, 2003). HQ 536 K38

Progress of Women in Real Estate: 50th Anniversary (Chicago, IL: Women's Council of REALTORS®, 1988). HF 294 W84p

Personal Power: the guide to power for today's working woman (Boulder, CO: Career Track Publications, Inc., 1985). BF 637 L11

The Woman's Guide to Selling Residential Real Estate Successfully: A Step-by-Step Career Program (New York, NY: Everest House, 1981). HF 5438 J25

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Leadership Development

Field Guide to Mentoring

Field Guide to Women Homebuyers

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.