From Wall Street Journal:
Leslie D. Hale made history as the first African-American woman to lead a public real-estate investment trust. Today, a little more than two years later, this industry club of female Black chief executives still has just one member.
That has been discouraging at times for Ms. Hale, the CEO of hotel owner RLJ Lodging Trust . She hasn’t been subjected to overt discrimination, she said, but at times she has felt excluded in ways that some peers never have.
“A lot of deals are made on the golf course or over beer,” she said. “I don’t drink beer or play golf.”
The 48-year-old has built relationships over breakfast or coffee instead that led to transactions, Ms. Hale said, helping her star rise at firms such as General Electric Capital Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Now, she is the only Black CEO of the 10 female CEOs of 166 U.S. publicly listed real-estate investment trusts, according to Ferguson Partners, a corporate recruitment and consulting firm. Only two of the male CEOs are Black, including Thomas J. Baltimore Jr. at Park Hotels & Resorts Inc., one of Ms. Hale’s mentors and sponsors.