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The headline says it all. We called up all our best sources to come up with a list of the most impressive women in commercial real estate. Some are in sales, some in finance, some work for the government. But they're all game-changers. Bonus: This will be the one article you read about women that doesn't ask you the psychoanalyze Lena Dunham. (Though Lena, if you get into real estate in Bushwick, give us a call.)


We're leading off with Cushman & Wakefield's Sherry Cushman, who has spent the past 16 months in her dream job: building up C&W’s national legal sector advisory, which now has 250 brokers that focus on law firms. She’s in the midst of a 17-city symposium to roll out the company’s national stats that focus on the drivers of real estate decision making. The dream job is the cherry on top of a lifetime of impressive achievements, like founding the law firm practice group at Studley, where she worked for nine years and repped Morgan Lewis’ move to 1111 Pennsylvania Ave, followed by the same job at CBRE where she also represented Baker & Hostetler in both DC and its Cleveland home. Morgan Lewis’ move to 1111 Pennsylvania Ave was a six-year pre-lease; by the time the firm moved in, its rent was $15/SF below market. (When we were born, we signed a 30-year lease in our parents' house, though they weren't aware of it at the time.)

In her first year at Studley, Sherry (with current colleagues Brian Dawson and Scott Mason) brought in 350k SF of business (earning her Rookie Broker of the Year), though she didn’t make a penny for her first three years. By the time she got her first commission check, Sherry owed the company a great deal of money, had burned through her savings, and tapped family members for loans. “I paid everyone off and at that point in time, I said ‘I will never be in this position again.'" And 20 years later, she hasn’t. Growing up, Sherry and her sister played boys’ baseball, basketball, and football (the only girls in the entire league). And to date, she’s completed 20 triathlons (she started in her late 20s and turns fabulous 50 this August). Sherry mentors many young women in the industry and tends to lean toward hiring athletes who understand the “no pain, no gain” mantra—that winning and losing is part of the biz, and it requires the ability to bounce back.