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Sustainable Communities Thought Leadership

Recognizing ‘The Leaders’ Influential Women in Real Estate and Land Use

By Malory Atkinson, Chair of ULI Atlanta’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and member of ULI’s Creative Development Council and Advisory Board

As we navigate these challenging times, we need leadership and problem-solving now more than ever. Research at ULI and across all industries shows that more diverse groups, with more diverse thinking not only leads to better decision making but also higher profitability. Women on boards and in leadership positions consistently bolster the performance of organizations. To the extent that you have some down time over the coming weeks, we invite you to think about women who are making a difference in our city and region on real estate and land use issues.

As Chair of ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), I am so pleased to announce that in 2020 WLI is setting out to promote the advancement of women by recognizing and bringing visibility to the incredible women leaders in the real estate and land use field in metro Atlanta – thus, launching ‘The Leaders’. The Leaders will recognize an esteemed cohort of women who have been selected by their peers as having demonstrated leadership and expertise in real estate development, land use, city building and their community.

Annually, WLI will be committed to highlighting, promoting, and celebrating women in the industry with new inductees into The Leaders with a goal of increasing the presence of women in the industry in board rooms, at conferences, and everything in between.

Are you or someone you know a woman who should be recognized for her outstanding contributions to the industry? Nominate her today and help further the visibility of women leaders within ULI and in the Atlanta real estate industry. 

Nominations and Selection Process:

  • Nominations open until April 30, 2020.
  • Anyone can submit a nomination.
  • Nominees will be asked to submit an official application for The Leaders.
  • The Leaders will be selected by a committee of ULI member leaders who will meet to consider nominations and make final selections. The final selection of nominees will be notified in late June.


  • Minimum 10-15 years of experience in the real estate industry. [Know someone with less than 10 years’ experience doing amazing things in Atlanta? Complete a nomination form and check ‘Emerging Leader’];
  • Located in the Atlanta region;
  • Dedication and commitment to the success of the Atlanta region;
  • Significant impacts and influence on the built environment through both personal and professional accomplishments;
  • Demonstrates leadership in inspiring others in the real estate and land use industry;
  • Nominees are not required to be members of ULI.

Recognizing the impact that women have made to Atlanta real estate and land use is the first step toward the equitable future of our industry.


Malory Atkinson is a co-founder and managing partner at Shear Structural, Atlanta’s only 100% women-owned and managed commercial structural engineering firm. Her firm focuses on adaptive reuse, educational, healthcare, municipal, and commercial markets for architects, developers, contractors, and institutions.  She is a long-time member of the Urban Land Institute and is the current chair of its Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) Committee and current member of its Creative Development Council.



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