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CREW SF 2019 President Molly Jans On The Need To Connect And Encourage Others

Paradigm General Contractors Director of Operations Molly Jans has been elected as the 2019 president of CREW SF, the San Francisco chapter of the professional organization focused on supporting and promoting women in commercial real estate.

Molly Jans

At Paradigm, Jans oversees construction by developing and managing business operations and shaping company culture.

Outside of work, she holds the women's world record for lingcod from the International Underwater Spearfishing Association.

Jans follows Holland & Knight partner Stacie Goeddel as president of the 230-member CREW SF chapter, and is joined by President-Elect Samantha Low of Cushman & Wakefield and Treasurer Linda Schmid of Sherwood Engineers. Jans has served on several committees for the organization, has strengthened its networking and mentoring, and said she hopes to be a catalyst for a brighter, more inclusive future for women across career stages in the industry.

Bisnow caught up with Jans to talk about gender equity, being a part of CREW SF and her objectives as chapter president.

Bisnow: Why did you first become involved in CREW 14 years ago?

Jans: I moved to San Francisco in 1999 and worked in the world of internet startups in human resources and recruiting. When the bubble burst, I joined Paradigm after a client informed me that [an] office manager was needed. My boss was a CREW SF member at the time, and I came along to join her at luncheon events. The luncheons are fantastic exposure for networking and meeting other professionals, and so I joined as soon as I had the required experience in CRE. As a woman in the industry, I felt a need to connect with other women. CREW SF really resonated and served as a catalyst that allowed me to increase my professional network and work with other women in real estate. I have stayed involved after all these years because of the new and seasoned members I've been able to connect with and the fantastic programs our chapter puts together.

Bisnow: Where have women made strides in the industry in recent years?

Jans: I've seen an increase of women in architecture, engineering, building management, construction management and other general contractors. I think San Francisco, as a market, embraces women in these fields.

Bisnow: What are the biggest challenges that continue to need to be addressed?

Jans: We need to continue to expose women to opportunities in real estate to continue the pipeline of women in architecture, engineering, contracting and building management roles. Increasing STEM fields of study for women in high school and college is one way to do this. Another is to continue breaking down the parity gap in the industry to make commercial real estate appealing to professional and young women.

Bisnow: What are some proven ways that gender diversity and equity can be addressed? Why aren't more companies doing these things?

Jans: Having more women in C-suite positions and executive boards is one way to do this. We need to encourage and support women to be involved in these positions. Showing your company CREW Network Whitepaper studies about the [return on investment] effects of women in these positions can help increase men's awareness about the bottom line benefits [of] having female leaders.

Bisnow: What are your objectives as CREW SF president for 2019?

Jans: In 2018, under the leadership of past President Stacie Goeddel of Holland & Knight, we updated our five-year strategic plan for the chapter. I am excited to be president in the first year of our five-year plan, and I am committed to ensuring the necessary resources are in place to make CREW SF a forum where members gain valuable leadership development opportunities and connect and build business networks. As an organization, CREW enjoys a renowned and highly regarded reputation in support of our mission to “develop and advance women as leaders in the Commercial Real Estate industry," and I look forward to doing my part to further such an important cause.