International Women's Day 2022: Women inclusivity in real estate sector advocates gender neutrality, writes Dr Niranjan Hiranandani

Dr Niranjan HiranandaniUpdated: Monday, March 07, 2022, 09:11 PM IST
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Dr Niranjan Hiranandani |

The shattering of the glass ceiling by women in the realty sector is a proof of how women have broken into yet another male bastion to deftly carve their niche. They are objectively marching forward with the right set of knowledge, skills, and talent by notching up their position and power to steer path-breaking roles. The mark of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2022 is the opportune occasion to accredit women’s rise in the male-dominated real estate sector. The day is earmarked to acknowledge women’s achievements and embrace gender balance in true spirit.

Today, women are spearheading multidimensional roles and excelling in various disciplines, and real estate is no exception. They are breaking the stereotypes and emerging as equal potential players to bridge the gender gap. Over the years, the role of women in the Indian real estate sector has grown. They have stepped up their game from just being a decision influencer to decision-maker, and playing a catalyst role in the form of consumers, agents, consultants, investors, and entrepreneurs. Today, more women are open to pursuing degrees to join the real estate professional bandwagon. The system reboot of the realty sector with structural policy changes has paved the way for innovative and inclusive roles towards a gender-neutral future. To make the industry adopt a talent-oriented mindset, policy, priority, and programming- all three is needed in order to achieve gender neutrality. Innate skills required in the real estate trade come naturally to women such as soft speaking, negotiation, adaptability, emphasizing, emotional quotient, and resiliency. This can bring a sense of personification to the brand and an enhanced customer experience which is vital in a customer-centric world. The gender balance will foster equilibrium, economic prosperity, and employment generation on a larger scale.

Fortunately more professional women are progressing in the industry, developers, banks, and even, government is coming up with innovative initiatives to make real estate a safe and lucrative segment for women. The increased career mobility is augmenting independence and with gaining financial wit, floodgates have been opened for women to enter the real estate ecosphere. The inclusion of women in the labour force will augment economic development and raise the per capita income of households. In the coming years, the industry will witness many distinctive roles to enhance its performance index in the rapidly evolving economic ecosystem. Acknowledging the significance of women's upliftment in real estate, industry body NAREDCO recently established the women’s wing NAREDCO MAHI. The platform is for women to rise to the occasion and conjure up to a world of opportunities.

According to a survey, women's preference for real estate has grown post-COVID-19 from 57% in a pre-COVID-19 consumer sentiment index to 62%. Many Indian women now consider housing as a safe bedrock of financial security and also as a good potential to diversify their investment portfolios beyond other assets.

The industry is quickly morphing into a gender-equal place by welcoming inclusive growth culture and equivalent opportunities. As the next-gen is getting equipped with educational pedagogies in real estate, it will strive for more professional participation in the real estate gamut. The new-age real estate will witness sea through changes in leadership bandwagon with gender diversity as a new growth mantra. Gender diversity brings comprehensive, multi-prong and rational decisions to the boardroom and hence the industry should foster a conducive environment for its progression. Gender balanced workforce in the formal labour market will spur economic growth.

Enhancing women’s economic empowerment will help change the face and the fate of the nation. The economic impact of achieving gender equality in India is estimated to be US$700 billion to be added to GDP by 2025. The IMF estimates that equal participation of women in the workforce will increase India's GDP by 27 percent, which can be achieved through education, skilling, resources, coaching and redefining social norms. Investing in gender balancement will not only help build societal but economic resilience too to wither away the future shocks. To achieve this, industry should adopt innovative practices like gender blance practices, flexibility, mentoring sponsorship programs, up skilling worksjops and external reoresentations. Hence, let’s all pledge to the long-standing commitment towards gender-equality driven economic growth in order to build resilient India @100.

(The author is National Vice Chairman -NAREDCO)

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