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The WomanUP!® movement was founded in 2017 by the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) to help the ambitious and passionate women in real estate achieve their leadership goals, as well as celebrate the men and women who support the cause.

On Oct. 23-25, C.A.R. hosted its third annual conference at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego, Calif., showcasing over 50 speakers that provided valuable insights to the 1,000-plus in attendance.

“While the real estate industry is predominantly female, women are underrepresented in leadership positions both at the brokerage and senior management levels,” said C.A.R. President-Elect Jeanne Radsick. “That’s why it’s important to increase awareness about women’s leadership opportunities in the brokerage industry and inspire women to step into brokerage leadership. WomanUP! is a place for attendees to hear best practices, lessons learned and collective wisdom from experienced brokerage owners and receive support from a community of leaders and peers on their brokerage leadership journey.”

The three-day conference held a variety of panel discussions, covering a wide range of topics such as forming powerful partnerships, honoring women who have led the way and showcasing the journey to the C-suite. WomanUP! attendees heard from notable speakers, such as Leslie Rouda Smith, 2020 National Association of REALTORS® first vice president and Mary Lee Blaylock, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties, among others.

WomanUP! Panel: Leading With Purpose, featuring Christine George, Tiana Uribe, Elisha Alcantara and Melissa Sofia

WomanUP! Panel: Honoring the Women Who Have Led the Way, featuring Leslie Appleton-Young, Leslie Rouda Smith, Rita Tayenaka and Michi Olson

WomanUP! Panel: Research Update, featuring Leslie Appleton-Young, Bernice Ross and Sara Sutachan

Here’s what speakers/organizers had to say:

“The biggest surprise over the last three years has been the support from both women and men who see this as a movement whose time has come. ‘I’ve never been to a conference like this’ is a common refrain. The authenticity and diversity is a stunning departure from traditional industry events and unites us in the shared goal of lifting each other up. What a joy it has been to have had such an impact—and we are just getting started!”
– Leslie Appleton-Young, Vice President and Chief Economist, C.A.R.

“Words cannot express the gratitude this mission has filled me with. The sisterhood. The inspiration. The honesty. The love. WomanUP! is a feeling that must be experienced to understand. It fills your heart and changes lives.”
– Lori Namazi, Owner, Namazi Real Estate

“There are no words that can express the energy, the raw emotion and feeling of connection these last few days. I’m still caught in the moment. There were so many heartfelt stories, stories of strength and empowerment. I met so many phenomenal women. I’m forever grateful to have shared the stage with so many power houses.”
– Sabrina Brown, District Vice President, Women’s Council of REALTORS®

“WomanUP! has been one of the proudest moments of my career. I am inspired by the women who are aspiring to take a chance on themselves, who saw themselves in one or many of the over eight diverse voices on our stage. We see you, we hear you and we are here for you.”
– Sara Sutachan, Vice President of Industry Relations and Strategic Initiatives, C.A.R.

“Together we found our focus, and ultimately inspired and ignited one another to build successful lives and businesses. 2020, put your seatbelt on—we are coming for you.”
– Debra Trappen, Empowerment Coach, Consultant, Author, Podcaster, Speaker

Do you know someone who is making strides toward the advancement of women leadership in the residential real estate industry? Contact to learn more about our Women in Real Estate series.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at