Women may have made undeniable progress in the workplace in general and in commercial real estate specifically, but they continue to be kept out of the C-suite, the top management level that contains positions such as CEO and CFO. That’s one of the points Hartman Simons partner Lori E. Kilberg made earlier this week when speaking to the Memphis, Tenn., chapter of the CREW Network.

Kilberg’s presentation was covered in the Memphis Daily News.

“They may be in middle and upper management, people that essentially run the show or do al of the legwork but [they] are not the ones that are maybe making all the global decisions,” Kilberg, who is on the CREW Network Board of Directors and is the immediate past president of the network’s Atlanta chapter, told the Memphis chapter.

Kilberg said companies who fail to promote women are not giving themselves their best shot at success. “Women are generally better educated than their males peers,” she said. “Several studies have found the correlation between significant numbers of women at the top of a company and the success of the company in the marketplace.”

Women need more “sponsors,” i.e., high-rankings executives who will actively tout their achievements and aggressively lobby for their promotions, Kilberg said. Since relatively few women are in the C-suite, more men need to sponsor women for them to be fairly represented at the executive level, she added.

While the workplace is generally friendlier to women than it was decades ago, continued exclusion from the C-suite and the ranks of upper management could begin to drive them away, Kilberg warned.

“They may turn down promotions, seek opportunities outside their firms or leave the corporate world altogether because the factors have convinced them that the odds of getting ahead in their companies are too daunting,” she said.

To read more about Kilberg’s remarks, visit the Memphis Daily News’ website.

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