Today is International Women’s Day.
Celebrated every March 8 since 1911, this day is for honoring achievements of women around the world. The month of March also marks the acknowledgement of Women’s History Month. In the Realtor® world, the female presence is strong. Sixty-three percent of Realtors® are female, and the average Realtor® is a 54-year-old white female who is a homeowner and has some post-high school education, according to the National Association of Realtors® Member Profile.
But women weren’t always allowed to be members of NAR. While the first woman joined in 1910, two years after NAR’s creation, women struggled to find a place in the association. So, they formed their own organization, the Women’s Council of Realtors® in 1938, which today boasts more than 12,000 real estate professionals. It is the twelfth largest professional organization for women in the country.
NAR’s male-dominated membership began to shift in the 1970s, when NAR allowed sales agents to become members. That first year, in 1973, women made up 17 percent. By 1978, there were more women than men as members in the association, a trend that continues today. In 1992, Dorcas Helfant became the first NAR president.
At PAR, Jane Theuerkauf became the first female president. Theuerkauf, of Erie, served for the 1978 year. Today, many women have served in leadership roles and on the board of directors on the state level, in addition to local level across the commonwealth.
Today, remember all of the accomplishments of women around the world, and celebrate being a part of an industry that provides women strong career roles.