Women play a crucial role in the global economy. Their contribution to sectors such as agriculture and education cannot be overemphasized. The 20th Century has seen women take up leading roles in previously male-dominated sectors , including politics, banking and mining. Ghana is equally progressing on this path, especially in the real estate industry.
Managing Realtor of De Platinum Villas, Sedina Matanawui believes women have come a long way in the property sector. The gender barrier in her view has improved, allowing a more level-playing field especially in the property brokerage sector.
“There has been a tremendous improvement in the male-female ratio of real estate marketing. So far, business has been conducted professionally without any hindrance associated with my gender,” she said.
De Platinum Villas is in itself run by mostly women. It is testament to the fact that improvement has been seen in terms of gender parity.
For Ms Matanawui, the biggest challenge for women is in estate development. She said that her company has recently acquired lands to begin construction of affordable residential properties.
This has however come at a great cost according to her.
“Women still lag behind when it comes to estate development. There are still only a few women venturing into that aspect of the business and I believe this has to improve.
“One bad experience I had was negotiating the price of the lands my company acquired. I realized that because of my gender, there was the tendency to sell to me at a higher price. I would say estate development is where the major challenge lies,” she said.
The Executive Director of Ghana Prime Properties, Delores Sekyere agrees with the view that gender parity in the real estate sector has improved. She however said that prejudice, to some extent, was a big challenge in the industry.
“Women are showing their worth and skills in the real estate industry. I meet a growing number of female developers, agents, and architects attaining respectable positions in their respective companies,” she said.
There is, however, some form of prejudice in the sector. This is mostly in relation to age and gender. My hope is that people would be judged based on work ethic rather than perception,” she said.
Akua Nyame-Mensah, the Managing Director of property portal, Lamudi Ghana, said that she was proud of the contributions made by women in the property sector. International Women’s Day, according to her “is a time for society to reflect and celebrate the achievements chalked by women from all walks of life.”
Ms Nyame-Mensah urged more women to venture into real estate business, citing it as a tool for employment and wealth creation.