March is Women's History Month

March is Women’s History month in the United States, celebrating the vital role women have played throughout our nation’s history. Take a look at some stand-out details about women’s work within Virginia REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS® over the last century.


  • When Virginia REALTORS® was founded in 1920, it had an entirely male membership. Now, our most recent membership number shows that over half of our members are women.
  • NAR’s 2020 Member Profile reveals that currently, 64% of REALTOR® members across America are female. 
  • According to the 2020 survey of home buyers and sellers, 16% of buyers in Virginia are single women.
  • In 1984, Dorcas Helfant-Browning became the first female President of our association, then called the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR). That year, only six other state-level REALTOR® associations had female Presidents.
  • Helfant-Browning went on to be elected as NAR’s first female President in 1992. Despite significant opposition, she made it her platform to meet as many REALTORS® across the country as possible. Clearly, her commitment and work ethic paid off.
  • In 1981, Joan D. Gifford of Norfolk was named the first female REALTOR® of the Year by VAR.
  • Virginia REALTORS® current CEO, Terrie Suit, was appointed to the Virginia Real Estate Board in 1996. She later served Virginia’s 81st District as a delegate for nearly a decade. In 2011, she was appointed by Virginia’s governor to be Virginia’s first Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.

Virginia REALTORS® celebrates the tens of thousands of women who have helped our association to flourish over the past century.

We have an entire section in our 100-year anniversary book dedicated to the trailblazing women in our association’s history. If you’re interested in securing a copy of the Virginia REALTORS® 100-year book, click here.