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Women making their mark in property

7 November 2016

Women have become a force to be reckoned with in the real estate industry, where their numbers have more than doubled in the past 20 years. 

Women manage billions of dollars of property transactions and there are now nearly as many females as males working in sales in Australia’s real estate industry. 

REI Super, the industry superannuation fund for real estate professionals, is dedicated to helping women working in real estate to get the most out of their careers by investing their long-term savings and providing them with high quality retirement income options.  

REI Super is backing up this commitment by supporting the coming REINSW Women in Real Estate (WIRE) Conference on Tuesday 8 November, to help women network and access business coaching. 

REI Super Chair Claire Higgins said the fund was committed to helping women close the gap between men’s and women’s retirement savings. 

“Women make up 60 per cent of our fund’s membership base and they are very important to us,’’ she said. 

“ABS data from the August quarter, 2016, shows there are 44,800 women working as real estate sales agents nationally, compared to 45,500 men. 

“The number of women working in this occupation in 1996 was 16,400 compared to 34,200 men.  

“However, while women are so strongly represented in the real estate workforce, we know nationally the average superannuation balance for women is way behind that of men, driven by factors such as career breaks and caring responsibilities. 

“The seriousness of this is compounded by the need for women’s savings to last longer due to their longer life expectancy.” 

Panel member for the upcoming WIRE, Leanne Pilkington, who is also the Managing Director of Laing+Simmons and REINSW Vice President, said women had certainly made their mark on the industry but more progress was needed. 

“Anecdotally, I have noticed there appear to be far more women working in lower paid positions in our industry than men,’’ she said. “So while the overall workforce participation of women is good, we have a long way to go to ensure women are getting the same value from their careers as men. 

“A lifetime of lower earnings certainly makes a differences to super balances. It’s so important to keep track of your super. I have worked in this industry for 25 years and I have salary sacrificed every month, within sensible tax limits.”  

REI Super will have a representative at the conference to answer any questions participants may have about their super.