From top left: Kathy Rugebregt, SVP of Human Resources; Stacie Herron, EVP General Counsel and Secretary; Meredith Darnall, SVP Business Intelligence and Strategy; Annette Prater, Head of Technology and Innovation at Brookfield Properties; Stephanie Brager, SVP Asset Management; Tara Marsewski, SVP, CFO; Michelle Snyder, SVP, CMO.
How does Brookfield Properties support women in the workplace?
Stephanie Brager: In Asset Management, women represent nearly 40% of our General Managers and Vice-Presidents. Many of whom have been promoted from within the organization into their leadership roles. We are very fortunate that Brookfield Properties provides each of its employees with the opportunity to become their best and find their career passion.
Tara Marsewski: Brookfield Properties has a strong culture of promoting both men and women alike across all levels. I think that best supports women in the workplace because you can tell what an organization believes in the end by who they promote at the top. We are fortunate to have several fantastic senior leaders who are women.
What qualities make a good leader?
Stephanie Brager: Two qualities that I find most important in great leaders are 1. Transparency with open and honest communication and 2. Follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Tara Marsewski: Great leaders listen and support their teams, but also know how and when to make decisions.
Kathy Rugebregt: Great leaders should be able to influence and inspire without coercion; they have confidence but are humble; they are sincere and transparent; they can get a group of people to identify a common mission and take action to achieve their desired outcome; they can make tough decisions.
What advice would you give women in real estate looking to move up within their organizations?
Stephanie Brager: My advice to my mentees is to find your passion and work hard at it by going above and beyond expectations by bringing ideas and solutions forward. Ask for performance feedback and then make adjustments. You are always on stage, remember that. Foster relationships throughout the organization and at all levels (up, down, and lateral), as you never know who may become your biggest cheerleader and advocate.
Kathy Rugebregt: Successful women, like men, typically have a sponsor who has already grown and advanced in their own career and can provide valuable insight. While a mentor can help guide them throughout their careers, a sponsor can get them promoted. My advice to another woman looking to move up is to be yourself. Trying to be something you aren’t will not be sustainable. Being true to yourself and using your strengths will lead you down the path you are supposed to go down.