OLP Womens Symposium
In March of 2023, I was invited to attend the Academy of Our Lady of Peace's (OLP) Women’s Symposium as a panelist, and jumped at the opportunity to speak with our future female leaders. OLP’s Women’s Symposium focuses on women leadership and inspiring young women to become societal changemakers.
Panelists Pictured from Left to Right: Jacqueline Greulich – Associate Director & Career Manager, University of San Diego, Whitney Hodges – Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Lauren Vlach – Senior Designer, ID Studios, Sarah Potter – Development & Asset Manager, Cisterra Development and Alex Fenske, Advisor - Cresa
I had the pleasure of meeting many of the speakers at the happy hour the evening before. Being in a room filled with influential women, from CEOs to activists, was empowering. We all came together from various industries, locations, and backgrounds to help uplift the young women at OLP.
On the morning of the symposium, a junior student greeted and escorted me. She was exceptionally well-spoken and carried herself confidently. I could instantly tell OLP taught their students to be professional, confident women.
I attended a session on The Entrepreneurial Journey prior to the session I was speaking at and was astonished by the thoughtful and intellectual questions they asked the two speakers. They touched on finances, work-life balance, hardships faced, and the obstacles female entrepreneurs encounter. I felt proud of these young women for their curiosity and frustrated that they already have to face the unbalanced reality of being a woman in the workplace.
When it came time for my session, CREW Careers – Women in Commercial Real Estate, we panelists received insightful questions about our career paths from our OLP moderator. Our panel had women from different areas of the industry—a lawyer, asset manager, designer, advisor, and career counselor. The students were very attentive and soaked up all the information we provided about the vast world of Commercial Real Estate. We were able to break off into small groups where the students chose their interests based on attributes they felt aligned with them. I took my small group through what it was like to complete an office space lease transaction. They had a lot of questions about negotiating, commission structure, and other granular details. We also discussed their future plans, and I enjoyed providing insight to them about networking in college, internships, and beyond.
After the small group workshop, we came back together and opened the room to dialogue. I noticed the conversation shift to the topic of being a woman in a male-dominated industry. It reminded me of the discussion that came up in the Entrepreneur session. We discussed how the industry is changing and how CREW brings women in the industry together. I expressed gratitude toward Cresa and my office for lifting me up as a young female advisor. Bringing attention to female leadership and showing them that we can all make a change in gender equality in the workplace was motivating at the least.
The women’s symposium was an amazing reminder of the astounding current female leaders out in the world and the future female leaders we get to help uplift and inspire.
OLP Symposium Small Group Workshop
Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) is an all-girls catholic school in San Diego, CA. The Women’s Symposium is an annual event that provides an opportunity for the student body and surrounding community to hear from women leaders around the world.
CREW Network® exists to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women.