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How Susan Swanezy Advanced As A Single Mother In A Male-Dominated Industry

When she was working her way up in the commercial real estate finance industry, Susan Swanezy said the further she advanced, the fewer women she saw. Many women would enter the industry and then leave when they had children, she said. But as a single mother of two, she didn't have that option.

"It was, and it still is, a male-dominated industry," Swanezy said. "One thing that ironically made it easier for me was that I was a single mom, and I was head of household and couldn’t afford to be on what was considered the ‘mommy track’ back in the days, where women in two-career families had the luxury of working or not working. I didn’t." Swanezy has spent the last decade as a partner at Hodes Weill & Associates, a New York-based capital advisory firm focused on the real estate investment industry. In 2016, she was appointed to the board of directors of Arlington, Virginia-based AvalonBay Communities, one of the nation's largest apartment REITs.

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