"We all have moments when we feel unequal to the challenges of life. I’ve had plenty of tests that threatened to engulf my very existence if I had allowed it.
They didn’t stand a chance against my will to survive and thrive.
I have always met the world on equal terms if not more.
From a young age, my father taught me the value of hard work and what was required to achieve success. As a teenager, I always had a job during the summer and after school to ensure my independence. I never felt like I was slugging it out in a mans world. For me, I never focused on the fact that I was a woman. I never looked at the real estate business as either male or female, though most CEO’s in our industry are men. Instead, I focused on being the best I could be — the best leader, the best mentor and best example of what a woman rising to the top exemplifies. Being a woman had nothing to do with how I conducted myself. Sure, I love getting dressed up: picking out something glamorous to wear to a meeting, donning beautiful jewelry, having my hair and make-up done and adding just a spritz of my favorite perfume before heading out to a business event in Manhattan or a fundraiser in the Hamptons. And no matter what I am wearing, nothing makes me feel sexier, younger or more attractive than knowing I’m truly happy on the inside and then showing my confidence to the world. When the inside matches the outside, it’s an unstoppable combination. It’s a Wonder Woman moment, where we get to go from our everyday selves to a more powerful, potent, sexier version. A woman doesn’t have to stop being feminine to be powerful or make it in a man’s world. When I started selling real estate, my first boss told me, “I don’t care if you don’t have any money. Buy yourself three nice blazers. People are going to judge you on first impressions, long before you say your first words. Your appearance matters Dottie.” I never forgot that advice. I adhered to it then as much then as I do now. I have gone out of my way to look the best I can, even when I didn’t have the resources that I do today. How a woman pulls herself together, the way she holds her head up, how she walks with confidence and poise will always make a statement.
As my career bloomed, my focus was never being the best woman in the room so much as being dedicated and determined to be the best in the business." - Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman