Women in Commercial Real Estate: Letter from the CREW President


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Letter from the President

Building the Future and Bridging the Gaps


Each year, CREW San Antonio’s President is asked to focus on an initiative that will further our organization’s mission of advancing women in the commercial real estate industry. For 2022, my focus has been on education and how it can be used to create opportunities and bridge the gaps that exist for women today. Despite great strides and positive shifts in recent years, women are still underrepresented in the industry and CREW San Antonio is dedicated to addressing this challenge.


CREW San Antonio’s commitment to education has led to the strong relationship that exists between our chapter and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Embrey Real Estate Finance and Development (REFD) Program. Since 2007, CREW San Antonio has supported and collaborated with the Embrey REFD Program through a number of initiatives, all designed to create opportunities and provide resources to women pursuing education in the sector. In 2007, the chapter established the CREW San Antonio Endowed Scholarship at UTSA, which to date has provided scholarships to 17 women in the undergraduate program. The chapter also has a thriving UCREW Program, which provides various programs designed to expose college students to career opportunities in the commercial real estate industry.


One of the most exciting recent initiatives has been the CREW Scholars Program, launched in 2016 for women pursuing graduate degrees in commercial real estate at UTSA. The CREW Scholars Program is the first of its kind in the U.S. and has provided scholarships, mentorship and chapter involvement opportunities to the seven women selected to date. As described by Dr. Tony Ciochetti, Burke Chair and Executive Director of the UTSA Embrey REFD Program, “Working with CREW San Antonio creates a natural synergy for both organizations. As we developed our new graduate program in 2015, we were looking for ways we could continue to leverage our relationship with CREW and encourage more women to pursue careers in commercial real estate. The success of the CREW Scholars Program has generated tremendous interest from women applicants, which in turn has led to a goal to fund the program into perpetuity. This year, through the generous support of CREW, the Embrey company, and other members of the real estate community, we were able to achieve this goal by creating the Embrey CREW Scholars Endowment. This will allow us to provide resources to recruit the best women who want to become future leaders in the industry and help create the places in which we live, work and play.”


CREW San Antonio’s ongoing dedication to advancing women through education is changing lives, building careers and bridging the gaps for women in commercial real estate. Our chapter has a legacy of great leadership, and as our membership continues to grow, so does our impact on the industry. It has been my honor to serve as President this year, and I am so proud to be a member of this outstanding organization.


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Laura Gilliland
2022 CREW San Antonio President


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