Long & Foster Gateway Office | Bethesda Magazine

Women in Business Profiles


Long & Foster Gateway Office

Melinda Estridge, Founder | Estridge Group, Back: Bob O'Toole and Eric Goldstein; Front: Caroline Aslan and Melinda Estridge

4650 East West Highway

Bethesda, MD





“There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.” —Madam C.J. Walker (USA’s first female millionaire entrepreneur)

Q: What women have inspired you and why?

A: When I attended law school in the ’70s, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sandra Day O’Connor had paved their way into the legal field. Both reached the top of their profession by being appointed Supreme Court justices. They had many challenges and obstacles along the way, and experienced discrimination throughout their careers. I appreciated their dedication and their ability to successfully navigate what was a male-dominated field. It was very inspiring for young women entering the workforce.

Q: How have things changed for women over your career?

A: Real estate companies have been traditionally owned and run by men. That is still the case today. Although women have made inroads, I would like to see more women owning their own real estate firms and playing a larger role in their operations and development.

When I started in real estate, men were given preferential treatment as they were considered the breadwinners in their family. There is a much more level playing field now, as women are running their own groups and teams within larger real estate firms. Many of the women in real estate who have reached the top of their field have incredible business acumen and are greatly respected. Generally, we are treated with more respect than in the past. Although we still have a long way to go, I am ever hopeful that a new generation of women entering the real estate field will have more opportunities and be able to excel more easily than those of us that have gone before.

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