Key events this week

Women in the commercial real estate industry have made great strides in the past few years, significantly increasing their representation in the field — especially in the areas of property and facilities management, according to the Commercial Real Estate Women Network (CREW) , a national trade group. But in many ways — particularly compensation — they still lag their male counterparts.

From Wednesday to Saturday, CREW plans to host 1,000 members from around the country at its annual convention. The Power Center conference aims to give participants an opportunity to network and hear speeches from leading businesswomen, including Sheila C. Johnson , chief executive of Salamander Hotels and vice chair of Monumental Sports & Entertainment; and Linda Rabbitt, chairman and chief executive of Rand Construction.

Sessions will include updates on retail and multifamily development and how health care reform may spur construction of new clinics. The group also will introduce a national mentoring program to prepare women for C-suite executive positions in the industry.

The session is slated to start at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St. at National Harbor.

From Monday to Thursday, the theme of power plays a prominent role in another conference, this one the electric kind. GridWeek 2011 convenes hundreds of officials from public utilities and energy companies around the world for discussions on improving the power grid.

The conference, sponsored by several groups including GridWise Architecture Council and the Utilities Telecom Council, is aimed at spurring investment in smart grid technology. Speakers include Aneesh Chopra, the government’s chief technology officer; J oseph M. Rigby, chairman, president and chief executive of Pepco Holdings; and Ogi Kavazovic, vice president of strategy and marketing at Arlington-based Opower .

The conference is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Monday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW in the District.

Other events of note:

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14

Want to enhance your customer service operation? The Greater Washington Board of Trade is hosting a session aimed at showing you how. It is to begin at 11 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in the District.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 15

It’s an unpleasant scenario for general counsels, but the Northern Virginia Technology Council is sponsoring a workshop to prepare them for government investigations. The session is slated to begin at 7:15 a.m. at the Ritz-Carlton, 1700 Tysons Blvd. in McLean.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 16

The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce is holding a roundtable to discuss how you can market your brand through social media, scheduled to start at noon at the group’s office, 8230 Old Courthouse Rd., Suite 350 in Vienna.

— V. Dion Haynes