The half-day conference, which is sponsored by Standard Bank, is targeted at women working across the real estate sector value chain.
This year’s theme, “Think Big”, encourages women to take an out of the box approach to their role in the industry. This includes the way they think, position themselves and transform the sector, not necessarily by just going big in the property sector or building big, but also through making a meaningful contribution to the sector.
“It is our intention to provide our members with the tools needed to alter their business strategies, and enhance their businesses in order to be successful within the sector”, says Sandi Mbutuma, National Chairwoman of WPN.
Senior Anchor CNBC Africa, Gugu Cele will be the event host and the line-up of speakers includes; Roy Gluckman, a Diversity and Inclusion Consultant; Nooraya Khan, Lead Independent Director at Delta Property Fund Limited; Jayshree Naidoo, Head of the Standard Bank Incubator and Mandy Ramsden, Director and Shareholder of Questco.
The conference programme will also include several panel discussions with leaders in the real estate sector, including: Busi Nzo, co-founder and partner Lakhanya Quantity Surveyors; Madeleine Truter, Legal Advisor Setso Property Fund; Noluthando Moloa, Associate Director Turner & Townsend; Sanam Shree, Chief Strategy & Investment Officer and HR Director for Shree Property Holdings; Melanie Hawkin, Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Lionesses of Africa; Margaret Hirsch, Chief Operations Executive of Hirsch; Fundi Mazibuko, Director, Marketing & Business Development at FullServe; Dorah Modise, CEO and Chairperson of GBCSA and Lusanda Netshitenzhe, Development Impact Manager at TUHF. The discussions will include insights into building a career in the property sector, overcoming hurdles to take your business to the next level and how to make a meaningful impact to the sector.
“Our sponsorship of the WPN Leadership Conference is testament to our ongoing support of female professionals and entrepreneurs in the real estate sector. The growth and development of leaders within the sector, and specifically women, is critical in ensuring the sector is diversified and transforming in the right direction. We have a longstanding association with WPN and would like to thank them for the role they play in promoting the role of women in the real estate sector, as well as the support they provide to these women along the way”, says Vanessa Murray, Head, Real Estate Finance, Wholesale at Standard Bank.
Ms Mbutuma, Managing Director, Azzaro Quantity and Board member of the Property Sector Charter Council, the Women’s Economic Advisory Council and Executive member of SAPOA’s Government Liaison Committee, maintains that educational and mentorship initiatives are key in WPN’s drive to bring about demographic change across the entire spectrum of the real estate sector.
Since 2008 the WPN has awarded over 55 bursaries to previously disadvantaged female students studying towards a property related degree or diploma, and with the increasing financial support of the WPN Educational Trust, in 2016 a total of eleven bursaries were awarded to students studying at various institutions across the country.