Angelo Gordon’s Cubby Sporrong founded a networking group for women in commercial real estate nearly two years ago at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that has since grown into a large community of women looking to grow in the industry.
Sporrong began the women’s CRE networking group Arche in May 2020, initially as what she described as an “informal” video call for women she knew in real estate to provide a virtual opportunity to chat about market trends. Arche now has 150 members from more than 50 firms and Sporrong is using International Women’s Day on Tuesday to welcome those in the industry not familiar with the network to consider joining.
“The growth so far has been purely word-of-mouth driven,” said Sporrong, a member of Angelo Gordon’s U.S. real estate private equity team. “I am proud of the way we’ve grown thus far and think it speaks to the need for this kind of community for women.”
With support from several corporate sponsors, Arche has to date held 15 events from virtual meetings along with in-person gatherings in New York City and Los Angeles. In addition to group meetings and breakout sessions, the organization has hosted a guest speaker series featuring a number of leaders throughout CRE, including Mosaic Real Estate Credit co-Founder Vicky Schiff, Savills board member Dana Roffman and Areté Capital founder Nori Gerardo Lietz as well as Eastdil Secured directors Kristin Gannon and Steve Silk.
“Arche’s focus on supporting women in real estate and fostering the next generation of leaders in the space is something we are proud to stand behind and we have been thrilled to support their fantastic work as a sponsor,” Adam Schwartz, co-CEO and head of real estate at Angelo Gordon, said in a statement.
Prior to joining Angelo Gordon in July 2019, Sporrong began her CRE career two years earlier at Eastdil Secured. She said a group like Arche when first entering the profession would have been a valuable resource to relate to other women going through similar experiences.
“Walking into my first analyst training session in 2017, I remember noticing there weren’t many women,” Sporrong said. “Looking back, I think it would have been incredibly helpful to have a concrete network of others experiencing the same feeling, and opportunities to connect with more senior women who could answer some of my questions about starting out in real estate.”
As COVID-19 restrictions have eased, Arche has planned more live events, including a recent 35-person happy hour and dinner in Los Angeles. It is also planning two in-person speaking events in the near future while continuing to hold networking sessions in L.A., New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., with plans to add more cities going forward.
As Arche gets set to mark its two-year anniversary, Sporrong said she wants to grow corporate sponsorships in order to enhance Arche’s events with more guest speakers, executive coaching and networking sessions. She also wants to expand the outreach to include women in colleges pursuing potential careers in CRE.
“Looking to the future, the focus is not simply growing the number of Arche members, but making an impact on young women who are working to build long-term careers in commercial real estate,” she said. “The more women who find value in Arche and participate, the more our network will benefit as a whole.”
Andrew Coen can be reached at email@example.com.