Women dominate the on-site side of the apartment business, from the leasing office to the property management office. At the property level, you usually see women managing properties and leasing units. But further up the corporate multifamily ladder, women aren't quite as prevalent.
Unless, that is, you work at BRE, where president and CEO Connie Moore is the highest ranking of the many women leaders at the San Francisco-based firm.
“We have a large number of women in high positions,” says Deborah Jones, vice president of associate relations and development for BRE. “The women in management positions feel empowered to get their jobs done in what customarily has been considered a man's world.”
“I think that they understand that women are a majority in this business,” Snider says of BRE. “When you see that many women in the management team, it can't help but have an impact on the women in the organization.”
But the company is interested in all of its employees, not just the female ones. BRE's internal brand promise, called From Your Point of View, ensures that everyone's voice will be heard on corporate initiatives.
It's not just a slogan. “Of all of the management companies I work with, they are very open to listening and having programs that make a difference to their employees,” Snider says.
“We are empowered to do our jobs, especially at the leadership level,” Jones said. “There's not a lot of micro-managing going on. That gives us an opportunity to run what we're responsible for. That goes all the way down to the property level, where the property managers are responsible for running their communities.” (The company's strong training program also prepares property managers, regional managers, and maintenance supervisors to do their jobs independently and successfully.)
Staying successful at BRE pays. The company offers a tenure-based benefits program where an employee's contribution shrinks after three, five, and seven years with the firm. Once, they hit 10 years, they no longer have to pay their share of health insurance costs. No wonder 86 percent of employees in a recent corporate survey rated BRE as a great place to work, according to Jones.