Advocating for Women in Commercial Real Estate: T3 Employees Take Top Honors at ELEVATE Awards

May 2019
Natalie Taylor

Last week, T3 Advisors Principal Caroline Quick was awarded ELEVATE’s 2019 Women in Tech Award, which recognizes a woman who stands for innovation and leadership in real estate, design or facilities, or technology projects implemented in real estate. T3 President David Bergeron was also recognized as a finalist for the Elevation Award (Male Category).

The awards are sponsored by The Registry, a Bay Area real estate news company, and Bay Area CREW, a network dedicated to changing business’ gender trends and closing the parity gap for women in real estate.

Leading in Male-dominated Industries

A tech-industry veteran of nearly 25 years, Caroline founded a retail furniture business after the dot-com bubble burst, then worked as Twitter’s first head of Workplace & Real Estate before joining T3 Advisors. “I was never intimidated by the fact that the tech and commercial real estate industry have been primarily male dominated,” she says.

While at Twitter, Caroline was the first employee in the company’s history to go on maternity leave in 2010, before a leave policy was even in place. She ensured every Twitter office had exceptional Mothers rooms and would often lead meetings where she was the only female in the room. She was ultimately responsible for overseeing the design and construction of over 2 million square feet globally and saw the company grow from 1 office with 100 employees to over 3,000 employees with offices in 18 countries in 4.5 years.

I find it rewarding to now be that resource for others that I so badly needed.

Caroline Quick

During her time at Twitter, few companies were growing as quickly as the social media site was, and Caroline and her team had limited resources to turn to for help. “We were just figuring it out as we went,” she says.

T3’s Caroline Quick accepts the ELEVATE 2019 Women in Tech Award.

At T3, Caroline uses the experience she’s gained on the business side to advise other fast-growing tech companies with their real estate needs. “I personally lived through those challenges and understand what it takes for a company at all stages of growth to think more strategically about their real estate and workplace decisions,” she says. “I find it rewarding to now be that resource for others that I so badly needed.”

Caroline was recognized by ELEVATE for her leadership in the tech and commercial real estate industries as well as for building exceptional communities of and opportunities for women in real estate roles. She has led or supported groups like Women of Workplace, Inspiring Connectivity, and TheGuild—all aimed at providing support, networking, and opportunities for women in tech or real estate roles.

Hiring and Mentoring Women

For T3’s President David Bergeron, thoughtful hiring has played a crucial role in how he’s helped build the T3 Advisors team.

The T3 San Francisco office is currently 64% female—and of the licensed brokers in that office, 71% are women. T3’s 18-month-old office in New York, a real estate market particularly dominated by males, is currently led by an all-female team. “We’re actively growing this team and want to continue this trend,” says David. T3 also appointed the first female to its leadership team last summer with Amy Choi as Chief Growth Officer.

We can’t just talk about changing the status quo. The industry needs to wake up and be more willing to support and promote the exceptional women in the industry.

David Bergeron

David takes an active role in mentoring his female colleagues when many men are growing increasingly hesitant to do so in wake of the #MeToo movement.

According to new research by LeanIn.Org and Survey Monkey, 60% of managers who are men (up from 46% last year) say they are uncomfortable participating in common job-related activities with women, such as mentoring, working alone together, or socializing together. This aversion puts women at a disadvantage, but David describes his mentoring approach as a deliberate and consistent one: “Treat every person on my team like they are the most important variable for our success that day, and push, challenge, encourage, and support these people in every way possible.”

T3 President David Bergeron and Principal Caroline Quick with their ELEVATE awards. David was recognized as a finalist in the Elevation Award (Male Category), and Caroline won the Women in Tech Award.

Sandy Smith, an Advisor at T3 in Palo Alto, related an impactful experience working with David when she was the newest and youngest broker in the office. Shortly after Sandy joined T3, one of the firm’s biggest clients was opening an office in Nashville, TN, where Sandy was from. David decided to bring Sandy onto the deal and visit Nashville with him to tour potential buildings with the client.

“It was a big deal with lots of moving parts, and there was already enough help and support on it,” says Sandy. “But he knew that it would mean a lot to me and boost my learning curve even further.” She notes that not many first-job, first-year employees can say that they get to work directly with the company’s President, especially in commercial real estate. “I’m really grateful for his time and mentorship and the insight I gained through that project,” she says. “It’s something I’ll always remember.”

Where We Go From Here

The commercial real estate and tech industries have a long way to go in terms of gender parity, and T3 is grateful to play a small role in that fight. Advocacy and equality for women is an important part of T3’s culture, and we’re thrilled that two of our team members have been recognized for their everyday efforts in this important cause.