In recognition of Women’s History Month, ULI is highlighting people and projects that have worked to advance gender equity and parity in the real estate industry. From the dynamic programs organized by district councils to the authorship of articles on global issues, the contributions of women are evident.

The Institute’s commitment to addressing the industry’s gender gap is formally seen through the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). Over the years, the WLI network has striven to support the development of women throughout their careers and increase the visibility of women leaders within ULI and beyond.

This month, we are excited to celebrate these accomplishments and amplify the ongoing efforts by women and allies to gain further ground in having women’s voices be heard.

Recently, the United Nations announced its 2021 theme for International Women’s Day, recognized annually on March 8 around the world. That theme, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” truly echoes the tenets at WLI’s core.

The U.N. Women statement goes on to say, “The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also aligned with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, ‘Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls,’ and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end to all forms of violence against women and girls, and health care services that respond to their needs.”

In a reality where women have experienced a disproportionate amount of job loss due to the pandemic, ULI’s emphasis on shaping the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide is especially relevant. We must identify ways to adapt our industry to remain a viable choice for professional women and have their irrefutable value continue to be part of a rich and crucial conversation.

More information on ULI’s efforts in regard to gender is available at the Women’s Leadership Initiative or contact wli@uli.org.