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CetraRuddy’s strategy chief paving the way for the next generation

As a female executive in the industry, Emmanuelle Slossberg is now paving the way for future young women of real estate.

Recently, the French-born but Italian-raised Slossberg was appointed as the co-chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative membership subcommittee where she’ll be responsible for bridging the current female leaders with the next generation. And in her career, Slossberg also maintains a leadership role as CetraRuddy’s director of strategy and is in charge of ensuring the company’s trajectory and mission forward.

Slossberg began her jump into the industry after moving to America to attend the University of Pennsylvania for her master’s degree in architecture. After a short stint at a soccer news startup early on, she moved onto strategy development and eventually landed at the New York-based architecture and interior design firm, CetraRuddy, in 2009, as a director of strategic development.

And recently promoted to the director of strategy, Slossberg is primarily tasked with the continual growth of the company. While CetraRuddy’s core market is urban multifamily, Slossberg said they’re looking to diversify their geographic locations to include the UK, Toronto, and even India and Saudi Arabia. With expansion in mind, she’s then tasked executing the strategy and coordinating all the other departments, like business development, marketing and PR and more.

“For us there’s two ways of getting into new markets,” Slossberg explained of the process. “One is through reputation and two is active making efforts. In terms of actively making efforts, we’re looking at more national markets and further out in New Jersey and we’re even looking into London.”

After close to a decade at CetraRuddy, Slossberg attributes her success to the mentors at the company, both male and female. During her journey upwards, she said she was very fortunate to have Nancy Ruddy, the company’s co-founding principal and half of its namesake, as one of her mentors and that the company largely had a 50-50 split between its male and female employees.

Now in a leadership position herself, she’s already working on improving the ecosystem for all the other young women who want to climb the ladder.

Outside her work with CetraRuddy, Slossberg has been involved with the nonprofit research organization Urban Land Institute for close to a decade. She said it started with attending their networking dinners and slowly became more involved over time. In January, she was approached by the then-co-chairs of ULI’s women’s committee to take over one of their spots because of her investment and engagement with the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

As the group’s membership subcommittee co-chair, she’s similarly tasked with ensuring and moving forward the group’s mission of getting more women in the workplace and helping them navigate the real estate world. Slossberg said the subcommittee mostly focuses on its four initiatives that include promoting leadership roles for women, increasing the number of women in these roles, increasing the visibility of women leaders, and spreading the word of ULI to the next generation of women. She added that the Women’s Leadership Initiative often holds events like leadership coaching and offers scholarships.

Slossberg said that the younger generation should focus on absorbing as much as they can, asking more questions, and creating these networks early in their life.

“I’m seeing a lot of younger people being very forceful about making their mark because they want to be heard,” Slossberg said. “Most of the times, it’s great to see that incentive, but there [should be] a balance between when to listen and when to be heard.”

“It’s not always about leading, it’s also about knowing when to follow even as a leader,” she added. “It’s not about control, it’s about creating inspiration, having values align, and setting an example through those values, in terms of work ethic, how you treat people, respecting people’s time.”

More importantly, Slossberg said it’s crucial to join organizations like ULI and further the shift of having more women in the workplace.

“With this group, I found my home,” Slossberg said of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. “There are a lot of women who are high to mid-career and a lot of women who are on the sea level and it’s about connecting new members to senior members for mentors.”

And as the group proliferates, Slossberg expects higher membership numbers to align with the rapidly-changing workplace that she feels is better suited for women.

“The workplace is changing because of technology and I think it’s benefitting everyone,” Slossberg said. “The workplace has tolerance for mentorship, guidance, engaging in other organizations, but also to support you if your kid is sick and you have to work at home.”

For other women seeking to better represent leaders in the real estate industry, Slossberg said the time is now.

“There’s a tectonic shift happening in culture and the world in terms of how we’re working,” Slossberg said. “That’s why I’m saying I think the future for women is already here.”

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