WOMEN are bringing practical, functional elements to the real-estate property services market, according to Angel Msweli, ESD Administrator, New Business Division, Broll Property Group, in Johannesburg.
“As women, we bring balance into this sector. We are able to have a holistic view and factor in even little things that are normally overlooked, for example the need to install a mirror in a lift,” she said, commenting as South Africa celebrated Women’s Day on 9 August.
“I have experienced Broll’s culture of diversity and inclusion in that there are a number of women and black men appointed in senior positions,” she said.
Msweli’s role is onboarding and integrating BEE service providers into Broll’s Enterprise Supplier Development programme. “We introduce service providers to our brand, culture and ethics, as well as assist them navigate doing business with the private sector. As Broll, we make it our responsibility to assist small businesses to professionalise. By empowering these small businesses, we empower the community, as they in turn employ locals.”
Her advice to women contemplating a similar career path is to be prepared to learn new things on an ongoing basis. “Determination and hunger for career growth will guide you all the way.”
Siphumelele Khuzwayo, Portfolio Manager, Property Management in KZN agreed, saying said many women who had paved the way, excelling in different fields in the sector.
“The positive impact they have made can only be enhanced by having more women join the ranks, so I challenge all to aspire to greatness and to have the courage to realise their dreams and goals through focus and excellence.”
Khuzwayo said that having gone through diversity training at the company she can appreciate how much its employees are keen to learn about each other. “Through open dialogue, we have made amazing strides in learning and growing with each other in this regard.”
She said the biggest challenge was the fact that the industry remains largely male-dominated, with a few women in key senior leadership positions. “In order for this to change, we have to continue to build valuable connections that can help us develop and enhance women’s careers and contributions to the industry as a whole.
“If gender mainstreaming is to become a reality, we have to continuously make room for more women to come up through the ranks through advocacy, merit-based empowerment and partnerships with industry stakeholders,” Khuzwayo said.
Sheila Muasya, Head of Cushman & Wakefield at BROLL Kenya said the company had embraced diversity and inclusion in a world where many are struggling to achieve and attain this. For example, the company has empowered women by ensuring there are a number in its executive leadership. This means that an environment has been created where everyone is respected and has their voices heard.
“Time is often a constraint, especially for a family woman juggling a career, family and ongoing training and education,” said Muasya.
Her message on Women’s Day is: “Make time and invest in yourself in order to become a better person. When this happens, your output in everything else in life is a lot better. Love yourself; have confidence in your abilities; have the courage to share ideas and speak up if required. The industry, being as diverse as it is, means that change is a constant, and one needs to keep on learning to stay updated. Real estate is a rewarding, fulfilling career path if you love what you do.”