In April, Bravo TV answered the prayers of real estate “reality” fans everywhere when the network announced it found someone to fill the shoes of Luis Ortiz, who defected to Paris and quit real estate altogether. The network tapped Town Residential broker Steven Gold to join Ryan Serhant and Fredrik Eklund on the sixth season of “Million Dollar Listing NY.”
But not everyone was so excited when they caught wind of Ortiz’s replacement.
“Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a female in the future for this real estate reality show — and it’s really bumming me out,” Stribling & Associates president Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan wrote in an op-ed that appeared on Inman News this morning.
Though Stribling-Kivlan reinforced that she felt no ill-will towards Gold, Serhant or Eklund (and even called herself a “huge fan” of MDLNY), the brokerage chief took aim at Bravo’s exclusion of prominent female brokers since the show’s debut in 2006. Samantha DeBianchi starred in just eight episodes of “Million Dollar Listing Miami,” which has yet to be picked up for another season following its finale in August 2014.
“Real estate is one of the few industries that allowed women to break the glass ceiling early and often because of the inherent flexibility created a rare balance between work and home life,” Stribling-Kivlan wrote. “If women now make up more than half of the Realtor force in this country, can’t Million Dollar Listing New York or Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles feature at least one female agent?”
While residential real estate is home to a roughly even number of males and females, a recent report by The Real Deal showed that the industry is far from immune when it comes to issues of gender and race.
“Even so, I don’t want little girls watching television at home with stars in their eyes thinking success in real estate revolves around a boys’ club,” she wrote. “I want them to be inspired to kick just as high as Fredrik Eklund — and anyone else, for that matter.”
The show is slated to return on May 25. [Inman News] — Kerry Barger