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READ ALL ABOUT IT: CRE Women have their say

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day for celebrating the achievements of women and calling for gender parity.

Around the world – from small grassroots gatherings and local celebrations, through to large-scale events and press conferences – people everywhere are delivering exciting and engaging events that reinforce a commitment to women’s equality, rally action and raise awareness.

Real Estate Weekly is doing its part by opening up our news pages to the women of New York’s real estate industry.

For one day only, we invite women from every sector of the business and every office, whether you’re a CEO or a security guard, to send us your message.

We will update this news feed throughout the day with your messages, messages we hope will be inspiring, insightful and a celebration of you and those like you – women.

Tell us your biggest challenges, biggest successes or fun facts and email your messages to editor@rew-online.com and we will feature as many as we can.

Name: Julia Heyer, Heyer Performance Inc.

“My biggest challenge has been communicating the need for analytical, process- and analysis driven work for Food and Beverage programming vs. following a hot trend somebody read about is a large challenge. It is a business with distinct challenges that requires technical expertise, rigorous process, experience in both the operations and development space and discipline in order to ensure that it becomes a viable business AND positively contributes to the overall value of a development – be it multi-use, hotel, foodhall or other project.

“I’m a former competitive tennis player, know how to drive a tractor and tend to horses.”

Name: Aleksandra Scepanovic, Ideal Properties

Aleksandra Scepanovic

“Growing up in a communist-turned-socialist Eastern European country, I vividly remember my mom, her friends, my grandma… pretty much every female I’ve ever known… celebrating March 8th, and getting profoundly yet quietly offended if one would happen to forget to wish their gender a happy holiday. The tradition in our home mandated for the kids and the males to get my mom and grandmas a rose or three and to celebrate the day away by doing the dishes in their stead.

“I guess a Women’s Day happens when a patriarchal country, out of political conviction, does away with all variety of religious holidays. It ends up in dire need of a day that would allow it to put their hard-working females on a pedestal. For a day.

“Interestingly, now that I’ve spent 20 years of my life a New Yorker, I have other more recent recollections – including one of the Big Apple never really celebrating the IWD, and how odd it used to feel not to be reminded of the day and its meaning… by friends, family or colleagues. Ah, and now here we are. The full circle.

“My greatest success? Managing to bridge the gaping cultural ravine between there and here and then and now – and feel home with both.

Name: Adelaide Polsinelli, Compass

“As an industry veteran, I have had to adapt to several market variations as each cycle presented new challenges. This almost always involved reinventing myself and making the necessary changes in order to maintain a competitive edge.

“I was honored to join Compass, last year,  to launch the investment sales division. Compass is refreshingly unique in that the agents are treated as customers of the firm.  We are ahead of the curve in technology and culture.  It’s exciting and exhilarating to be in an environment where women are celebrated every day.

“English is my second language. My parents were from Italy and spoke Italian.  I didn’t learn English until I was in grade school.”

Name: Amanda Young, Compass  

“As a mother and entrepreneur, the greatest challenge is striking a healthy work-life balance.  Success in this business can be all-consuming and I agree with Jackie Kennedy that “if you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” The inherent tension between these two things is a constant negotiation.

“I was seriously into ice skating when I was a kid and my dad used to make an ice skating rink with garbage bags and hose in our 94th Street backyard so that I could skate.”

Name: Kristen Jock, Compass
“The greatest challenge has been giving myself permission to speak with confidence and authority and participating in mastermind groups, comprised of other driven, dynamic women entrepreneurs has enabled me to be more confident and to embrace my role as an authentic woman in business.

I’ve been scuba diving in the largest cave system in the world called Dos Ojos. I’ve jumped out of an airplane twice, I’ve snorkeled in the glacier waters of Silfra Rift between the North American and European continents. And backpacked on five continents. And last year, I closed $20 million in sales.”

Name: Deb Bondy, Compass

“My biggest challenge has been learning to balance my active business with my family life. Taking time off for myself and unplugging.
“Last year I made over $72 million in sales – and I have started to take classes in flower arranging.”
Name: Maria Ryan, Compass

“Learning to self promote  has been my biggest challenge . I’ve learned that when attempts at marketing are done in a way that allows you to stay true to yourself, remain authentic and is representative of your knowledge base, your business grows organically. Believing in that and sticking to it instead of following the trends or trying to be all things to all people was a learning experience.
“A long time ago, I was an Assistant District Attorney in Bronx County.  Last year, I volunteered for the Legal Aid Society  in the Immigration Dept. once a week.”

Name: Victoria Shtainer, Compass

“There has been an inherent challenge to prove myself as a woman in this field – a woman that is respected for her knowledge of the industry and skill of the trade.
“I have three kids ages 19,18, and 11. I love watching my children excel at what they do. I feel the same way towards my team members – it is rewarding to nurture them and see them excel.”

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