Toronto CREW

posted October 5th, 2009 by Janet Graham - Leave a Comment

Toronto Commercial Real Estate Women (“CREW”)was established in 1996 and has grown to almost 200 members. These members represent almost all the disiciplines in commercial real estate.  In their words: “Toronto CREW is committed to providing high quality networking and educational opportunities to assist in furthering the careers of its members”.


Toronto CREW was the first Canadian chapter of US based CREW Network, which comprises 66 independent organizations, including CREW Montreal, Vancouver CREW and Calgary CREW, totalling 8,000 members. CREW Network exists “to advance the success of women in commercial real estate and is the organization of choice for most successful women in this industry”.


The focus of my career was real estate finance, so I have relationships with many people in the real estate industry and appreciate the work of Toronto CREW or TCREW on behalf of women in the industry, particularly young women in the industry.


TCREW offers a Mentorship Program to young women in commercial real estate and Scholarships to young female students entering their final year of a degree program specializing in real estate at certain partner universities. Upon graduation, TCREW scholarship recipients are encouraged to apply for the Memtorship Program to ensure they are supported as they develop their careers in the industry.


I like Mentorship Programs because they allow women who might be reluctant or unable to find support and nurturing in their own organizations to find it elsewhere. And I like the Scholarship Program largely because I love to see women supporting other women in a very tangible way.


In my mind, TCREW and other organizations like it, for example, Women in Capital Markets (WCM) represent good choices for a woman who wants to expand her network outside the firm which employs her. It will not serve her every need, however, depending upon her personal objectives, it is a choice which could offer significant opportunities for personal development, growth and learning over time.  On the other hand, I do believe that exclusive reliance on a single organization to serve all of one’s networking and other career objectives would be a less than optimal strategy.


I would be interested to hear about your experiences with TCREW and other similar organizations and the benefits of your membership in this type of organization, as well as, your comments and opinions on their effectiveness in terms of serving the purpose of advancing and supporting women in a particular industry.

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