Bisnow is out with a report that the pandemic’s toll has been especially hard on women in commercial real estate. For a profession that has traditionally been male dominated, changes in work patterns brought by the shift to work from home may have made the widened the gap. It may also have increased the visibility of the problems which could also lead to improvement in the long-term. 

“Meghna Krishna Bondili, a developer and marketer who founded the real estate-focused communications firm Butterfly Voyage, said the current challenges facing women are just a heightened version of the everyday experience of working in a male-dominated industry.”

“The pandemic didn’t create these inequities,” she said. “It’s multiplied ones from before.”

The article cites a  Boston Consulting Group study, which “found that during the pandemic, parents in the U.S. spent nearly twice as much time educating kids and doing household chores, with mothers spending 15 hours or more on average than fathers. Bondili, a mother of a 4-year-old daughter, said it’s part of a societal perception problem; a father watching the kids is pulling his weight, while the same action from a woman is simply what’s expected.”

“Despite the deep-seated challenges highlighted by the pandemic, shifts in workplace flexibility and more control over schedules due to remote work have been changes that many hope become permanent post-pandemic.”

“Perhaps the biggest long-term shift may be an embrace of flexible schedules and remote work. CBRE Senior Vice President Karly Iacono, who admittedly worked long hours in the office in the past, said there’s no way she could have succeeded in the past while working from home as much as she does today. 

“I’m going to start going to the office, because I miss in-person collaboration, but this time at home has been invaluable,” she said.