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May 16, 2022

In many industries and professionals, women are still vastly underrepresented in leadership positions. In today’s episode of IntHerrupt, Linda is joined by Juana Watkins, General Counsel and Vice President of Law and Policy at Florida Realtors, to discuss her experiences and methods to stay empowered in a man’s world.

Women are empowered to do well in real estate. 

  • From a basic perspective, 61% of real estate brokers in America are women, up from just 21% in 1978. Sales associates haven’t changed as dramatically, but women overall represent a substantial percentage of real estate decision-makers.
  • The industry is designed to be conscious of equal opportunity for everyone. So while the industry isn’t perfect, there’s consciousness.  
  • The law side is not as advanced: Half of law graduates are women, but only 19% of managing partners are women. 
  • There is a tremendous amount of progress in law schools, but the actual profession itself doesn’t seem as influenced by diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Sexual harassment in real estate and law:

  • Juana sees it much more frequently on the law side because of the equal opportunity in the real estate industry, it’s less common.
  • However, it still happens. For example, there are documented incidents where male landlords accept sexual favors for rent. As lawyers for realtors, we must train members to look for that type of abuse and know how to report it.

Juana has been impacted by other female leaders:

  • Particularly, women who taught the importance of quiet power. The same stereotypical mindset that contributes to holding women back is what we have to overcome, even when faced with discrimination or harassment.
  • While unfair to the recipient, we have to consider how our actions and mindset can be interpreted by others around us.
  • Give people what they’re looking for - you can send a message without saying a word.

What can you do to feel empowered when faced with a setback?

  • Juana comes from humble beginnings, and she didn’t share that story with others until a real estate conference. When you reach a place of success after overcoming obstacles, you feel accomplished. 
  • Even when doing everything right, you can experience negativity that prevents you from reaching your goals. Because of her personal experiences with this, Juana experienced self-doubt in her work and her profession.
  • She decided not to let that feeling define her professional work, and she encourages other people to do the same.

Juana’s parting thoughts? Persevere and stay focused, because there is nothing we can’t overcome. For more great content from Juana, connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on her work. 

Do you have stories to tell? Connect with Linda to share them. This podcast is produced by TSE Studios. Check out other podcasts by TSE Studios, including this episode’s sponsor, The Sales Evangelist, helping new and struggling sellers close more deals and achieve their sales goals. Subscribe to the IntHERrupt Podcast so you won’t miss a single show. Find us on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher. Audio created by Ryan Rasmussen Productions.