In the News

Affordable Housing Finance: 10 Inspiring Women in Affordable Housing

Donna Kimura, Christine Serlin, Affordable Housing Finance

Meet 10 women who have a big presence in the affordable housing world.

They are developers, finance executives, government leaders, and advocates. Several have recently stepped into new roles, and others have been in their jobs for a while. All are pushing the industry forward with their new housing developments or innovative ideas.

While more companies are thinking about diversity, equity, and inclusion, underrepresentation continues. Women make up about 36.7% of the commercial real estate industry, and the percentage has remained about the same over the last 15 years, according to a 2020 study by the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network.

At the same time, companies in the top 25% for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians, reports CREW.

Reflecting on being the first woman to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in more than 40 years, Marcia L. Fudge notes that a large number of the households the agency assists are led by women.

She also shares the message she would give to herself if she was just starting her career: “Opportunities do present themselves,” she says. “You just have to be available and ready to accept them.”

New to her role this year is Sharon Wilson Géno, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council. Her advice to women in the industry is: “Don’t try to adapt to those things that are not you. Stay true to yourself.”

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