As one of the oldest trades in the world, real estate has transformed over the years to become an integral part of the modern economy, evolving from feudal systems in the medieval times into a massive contemporary behemoth of property transactions, catapulting the international real estate market into an expected valuation of $3.74 trillion by the end of 2022. Despite all of real estate’s continued advancements alongside that of society, one enduring issue still persists: the gender gap.
While the sheer number of women working in real estate has increased to pass that of men, the gender pay gap is still overwhelmingly prevalent, with the average male realtor making nearly $37,000 per year more than their female counterparts. The numbers only become increasingly stratified when examining executive leadership demographics, as men still overwhelmingly dominate these high-level positions despite the majority of realtors under them being female.
Stéphanie Bensimon, French real estate gender equality advocate, said: "Women also have much to contribute to businesses in terms of leadership: some refer to their ability to work collectively or a more diversified range of projects and experiences. In the real estate sector, profile diversity is particularly important: for example, how can single sex teams design housing adapted to the expectations of all types of users? Teams considering offices or homes must represent society as a whole to best assess the needs and challenges of each and everyone."
After spending years at Miami-based development firm, Stephanie Shojaee has recently been announced as the new president of Shoma Group, making her one of the most influential female real estate executives in the world – not to mention her impactful influence on women across the map via her aspirational Instagram presence.Since joining the company in 2013, Shojaee has been able to catapult Shoma Group’s success to new levels with her unparalleled marketing knowledge, using her expertise in developing and implementing comprehensive marketing campaigns that have facilitated a 30 per cent profit increase for the development firm. Between keeping an active hand in all of Shoma Group’s latest projects and concentratedly creating a more equitable workplace by actively hiring more women, Shojaee's positive influence on Shoma Group has been made clear throughout the multi-billion-dollar company’s repeated prosperity. Now, Shojaee's respected authority and clear business acumen is expected to transition seamlessly as the former CMO assumes her new position as Shoma group president.
Shojaee said: "There won’t be a dramatic change – my role at Shoma has always been very fluid since the beginning. I wear a lot of hats and my responsibilities have gradually grown over the years. This is a continuation of that.”
As one of the key figureheads leading Shoma Group’s headquarters and its 200-plus person staff alongside her husband, Masoud Shojaee, CEO and chairman of the board, Shoma Group, Shojaee's new title embodies the same commitment to partnership the Shojaees’ have embraced throughout their marriage and all across Stephanie’s time at the company. Speaking about the same, she said: “There is really no line between Masoud and I’s relationship at work and home, which is why it works so perfectly. We wake up with the same exact goals, same aspirations, same desire to win, same desire to succeed. We celebrate each other’s wins and play on the same field for the same team. Respect and understanding for each other plays a huge part as well.”
This forward-thinking mentality is already evident from Stephanie’s current projects; the newly-named Shoma group president is presently working on an affordable housing division – the first-of-its-kind for the developing giant – alongside offering rental and leasing opportunities through a subdivision created by Stephanie, Shoma MGMT. Recently, Shojaee has begun exploring the strategic expansion of the company’s multi-family housing projects with food hall anchors and other novel amenities, helping propel Shoma Group’s developments to new heights. Shojaee's success in merging marketing and innovations to Shoma Group’s multi-family projects is evident; the Shoma group president’s efforts led to the full sell-out of both the company’s $150 million Oasis Park Square and $102.5 million Sanctuary Doral Park projects.
As Shojaee expertly steers Shoma Group into a new era of leadership, the newly-minted president continues to lead by example throughout her diligent work ethic and commitment to her passions, waking up at 5 AM on a daily basis to complete her workout and signature full glam before heading into the office for a packed day. Oftentimes, Shojaee's dedication to Shoma Group’s success ends up a schedule so busy she only has 15 minutes to eat lunch at her desk – an all-in methodology that only adds to her ambition and drive. “I strongly believe in giving 100 per cent to everything I do, and then taking a few days off to vacation and recharge, then coming back rested to start up again. The fast pace and around-the-clock working might burn some people out, but I actually find it more manageable because there’s so much I want to get done in a day and I feel like it maximises my efficiency. Plus, it makes vacations all the more rewarding.”
It’s this one-two punch of glamour and nuanced business acumen that has propelled her into a full-blown Instagram influencer, another role the multi-talented business woman takes on with pride. Sharing picture-perfect snaps from her global adventures, front row seats at premier fashion houses’ runway shows, sizzling outfit selections, and most importantly, her daily work life, Shojaee's Instagram audience has catapulted to nearly 400,000 followers tuning in for a sneak peek into her one-of-a-kind lifestyle. She said: "I like to think of myself as an open book. I think we all like to see people who are inspiring and relatable, and I think the best way to accomplish that is to be true and honest so I like to show as much of my daily life as I can. I consider my followers to be friends–people who I want to share my happy and funny moments with. My days are full of excitement in my opinion, so I would have a camera follow me around all day so people could experience it with me if I could.”
“My schedule usually is pretty packed, so I don’t have time to post all day long, but I try to do about five stories a day. I especially like to show people the daily happenings in our office and in my work life because I feel it’s important to give visibility to women professionals, particularly in leadership roles," Shojaee added.
Under Shojaee's watchful leadership and discerning eye, Shoma Group has experienced significant growth and become one of the leading development firms in the world. Plus, as the driving force behind Shoma Group's commitment to diversity and inclusion, Shojaee's new position as the president clearly demonstrates women’s clear capabilities to flourish in a male-dominated industry – an important lesson she likewise shares with the world via social media, and a path Shojaee intends to keep forging in the years ahead.