Commentary by Marisa Calderon
We’re at a place where more women of color are stepping into leadership roles in the workforce, and it’s no surprise this growth is being felt in real estate. The Women’s Council of REALTORS® claims a women’s division was created in the California Real Estate Association in 1924 and the National Association of REALTORS® says women comprise 58 percent of their membership. More female real estate practitioners are rising to the top, and Latinas are the fastest-growing contingent. At the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®) , Latinas are highly present in leadership positions, encompassing about 50 percent of local NAHREP chapter boards.
Besides the fact that real estate has been historically inclusive, women are drawn to the profession for a plethora of reasons, particularly the flexible schedules that accommodate child-rearing and the ability to network in their communities. It’s important to recognize that Latina entrepreneurs face different challenges than their male counterparts, and having a healthy space to discuss these issues is vital in order to keep the industry moving in a progressive and inclusive direction.
Latinas are leading the trend as entrepreneurs, launching new businesses at a rate of six times the national average. They have emerged as a motivated group of connected decision makers, also noted as making 86 percent of the buying choices in their households. Given these astounding figures in both the professional and personal arenas, it made perfect sense for NAHREP to debut a Latina Brunch as part of its programming. This event creates a welcome environment for an intentional conversation with established and young Latinas around issues that drive their lives.
NAHREP featured Sandra Guzman, award-winning journalist and author of “The New Latina’s Bible: The Modern Day Latina’s Guide to Love, Spirituality, Family and La Vida,” as the keynote speaker at the inaugural event. The event sold out, leaving standing room only with broad participation by women and men in the jam-packed session. The first Latina Brunch was highly successful, with women across the country jumping on Facebook and Twitter with posts about their takeaways from the session and the empowerment they felt.
The Latina Brunch has become an important part of NAHREP’s National Convention and Latin Music Festival and the organization is gearing up for another great event in September. Latinas are interested in shaping future change to bring more women of color to positions of leadership. Organizations like NAHREP are eager to welcome Latinas and to provide them with the resources they need to succeed in the workplace and everywhere else.
You won’t want to miss this year’s Latina Brunch that will kick off NAHREP’s National Convention & Latin Music Festival in Chicago on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 11 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.NAHREP.org/convention.
Marisa Calderon is chief of staff, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals® (NAHREP®).