Other women interviewed said the problems transcend N.A.R.’s headquarters. Executives, they said, have been made aware of complaints concerning the behavior of the group’s members for years, and continually didn’t take motion.
Suzi Dunkel-Soto, a Realtor in Alhambra, Calif., said a male Realtor took a photograph up her skirt during a graduation ceremony for the N.A.R. leadership academy held in Boston in October 2018. Ms. Dunkel-Soto, 57, said she reached out to N.A.R.’s chief legal officer to report the incident, leaving multiple messages. She said her calls were never returned. When The Times asked concerning the incident, N.A.R. said it “addressed this incident appropriately with the male Realtor involved,” but didn’t give details.
“Everything gets brushed under the rug,” Ms. Dunkel-Soto said.
A Culture of Keeping Quiet
Several women interviewed said they didn’t wish to speak publicly because they feared retribution, losing access to the leadership roles and skilled connections that their businesses depend upon.
Months after making a report of sexual harassment and discrimination to N.A.R.’s human resources department, Roshani Sheth was fired from her job as a product manager for a N.A.R. subsidiary, Realtors Information Network. According to her claim, Ms. Sheth was the one woman and person of color on her team, and her male superiors had stared at her breasts, referred to her profession ambition as “unattractive” and made inappropriate comments about her body and marital status. In an interview with The Times, she said N.A.R. cited “poor performance” for her 2019 termination.
In July 2020, Ms. Sheth, who’s of Indian descent, filed a charge of discrimination, claiming each racial and sexual harassment, with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. It is now being examined by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After filing the grievance, Ms. Sheth, who lives in Chicago, received text messages from an unknown number referring to her as a “rat” and telling her “kys,” which is text shorthand for “kill yourself.” Ms. Sheth filed a police report.