Berkadia leaders Hilary Provinse, Dori Nolan and Mary Ann King are no strangers to being the only women in a room, but, happily, this has been taking place less and less frequently lately. In fact, recently they found themselves in a room of more than 100 women during Berkadia’s Annual Women in CRE event, which brings together women from Berkadia’s production network and the industry more broadly to talk about the trends and themes driving investment, market moving initiatives on the horizon, and what can be done to help propel increasing female representation in commercial real estate.
Combined, Hilary Provinse, EVP, Head of Mortgage Banking; Dori Nolan, SVP, Client Services; and Mary Ann King, Co-Head of Investment Sales, average more than 30 years’ experience in the business, with exposure to everything from bond trading to institutional investing, to asset management to city planning. Today, they help to lead Berkadia’s production platform of nearly 300 mortgage bankers and investment sales advisors, which has had a record-breaking year of transaction volume 2021. Post-event, they shared insights on how they see the industry changing for the better, especially when it comes to female representation.
How does it feel to look out on a room and to see a hundred female faces? Or to take in a panel discussion led entirely by female CEOs and senior leaders?
Hilary Provinse (HP): In a word, thrilling! I know for all of us it feels a long way from where we started our careers. And while I won’t discount the value of both male and female mentors across my career, it’s important to us that with each new generation, diverse representation and leadership of all kinds is more and more the norm.
Dori Nolan (DN): I agree completely. And for us, it really reflects the business case for increasing diversity across the board. We were lucky enough to host to some of the most dynamic female leaders in our industry who are doing groundbreaking, high-value work. As evidenced across our event, diversity is better for business and drives better results.
Was there a particular highlight from the event? Or anything especially surprising?
Mary Ann King (MAK): Certainly, when I have the chance to hear from some of the brightest minds in the industry about how to leverage JPAs to create more workforce housing or how the appetite for single-family-rental and build-for-rent communities is driving capital deployment, I’m eager to bring that knowledge and insight back to my clients. But beyond business building, the true value for me is the community building. Connecting with female peers has been incredibly important to me throughout my career, so to be able to create those opportunities for other women in the industry, especially those early on in their careers, is something I’m truly grateful for.
DN: I feel the same way. And it extends beyond just this event—we get to hear how our peers are doing this work within their organizations, communities and networks and in return we are able to bring those best practices back to our work and our organization. All these efforts collectively are what adds up to drive real change.
Looking ahead, what excites you the most about the change you see underway? Any challenges ahead?
DN: Hilary, Mary Ann and I are really excited about the work that we’re doing at Berkadia to support career development for women and for individuals of more diverse backgrounds across the organization. We want to plan and host more events like this for those within our organization and across the industry to foster greater inclusion and belonging. It’s truly part of our mission, both as individuals and as part of Berkadia, and we know it will make us better partners and advisors to our colleagues and clients.
MAK: Absolutely. There is, of course, more work to be done! But I know I speak for us all when I say we’re grateful and honored for the opportunity to do it.
HP: I’ve never been more excited about the future of our organization and our industry. The young talent that I met at our event and that I’ve gotten a chance to meet in our organization, at industry engagements, in mentoring environments, and beyond is motivated, creative and incredibly unique in what they bring to table. The future of CRE will be in good hands.
At Berkadia, we know that meeting our clients’ needs demands the best talent, resources and technology to ensure certainty of execution. That level of excellence can only be achieved by continuously working to ensure that our organization is more reflective of the clients we serve and the communities they work in.
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