Why Women's Council?

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With a current female membership of 62% in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) many who are unfamiliar with the organization may ask “why do we need a Women’s Council?”  The answer lies in the history of organized real estate, with NAR going back over 110 years and Women’s Council over 80 years. Women’s Council exists because for the first 20 years of its existence, women were barred admission from many local REALTOR® associations, so a separate group was created, and in turn, a “women’s division” was formed at the Annual Convention in Milwaukee in November 1938 by thirty-seven women from 9 states. 

The Council exists today because its 80+ year history and legacy are much more significant than “an organization of women”.  It is the business leadership skills the Council provides that has positioned the Council as a leader for the industry, for organized real estate, and for political action committees.  See at a glance for more information regarding the impressive statistics and infographics that demonstrate the Council’s impressive leadership in business and the industry that continues to today. 

photo3Since its inception, many dedicated members have served as role models and achieved many "firsts" in the industry and in their communities.

Through the decades, Women's Council's membership growth reflected the vast number of women choosing to work in real estate as they recognized the immense career benefits combined with a Women's Council membership, including:

  • Earnings equitable to men's because "commission is commission."
  • Flexible work schedules allowing REALTORS® the ability to raise a family and have a career instead of choosing one or the other.
  • A support system of women in the same field garnering many friendships, networking capabilities and referrals.
  • Confidence through connection with other professional women REALTORS®.
  • Recognition for their own achievements and success, as well as inspiration and courage to strive for greater successes.


Women's Council Today

Today Women's Council is a nationwide community of 13,000 real estate professionals who include many of the best and brightest in the business. The backbone of the Council is its network of more than 250 local and state networks in nearly 40 states with volunteer managers trained to position their groups as a business resource in their REALTOR® communities.

This structure represents the largest Networks infrastructure in the REALTOR® family, that represents 1,200 elected officers that drive over 1,500 programs annually that focus on business leadership.

Women’s Council today includes award-winning business leadership programs, including the Network 360 Leadership Conference, a conference that provides incoming leaders of Networks the skills needed to be successful at this leadership opportunity, and a Women’s Council Leadership Institute that capitalizes on the 80+ year strength of carrying out the Council’s mission, to advance women as professionals and leaders in business, the industry and communities we serve.  In addition to these leadership conferences, two national conferences are organized every year in May and November, together with the NAR so that members can take advantage of a “conference within a conference” that both respective organizations offer for leaders.

Business leadership education is also a core purpose of the Council today and the Performance Network Management program provides members specific training in areas including presentation skills, running a business, negotiation skills, and networking and referrals.  Newsletters such as Council Corner and various social media channels provide continuous and ongoing business leadership skill-building for its members.

Finally, at the foundation of all activities of the Women’s Council throughout its 80+ year history is business opportunities.  Its “Member Finder” feature includes a full profile, bio, leadership experience, integration with member listings, and an online referral platform.  And the data supports the business success of the members. Average commission income from Council member-to-member referrals is $15,000, with 54% of members referring business to each other annually.  In the recent surveys the Council has done, the #1 reason cited for doing Women's Council member-to-member referrals is "Council membership means a high-level business leader who will follow through on client needs.".