WPN to recognize female property professionals next week

Genevieve Naidoo - Head of Credit Risk for the Real Estate Sector, Corporate and Investment Banking for Standard Bank and WPN Chair.
Genevieve Naidoo - Head of Credit Risk for the Real Estate Sector, Corporate and Investment Banking for Standard Bank and WPN Chair.

The South African Women in Property Awards Gala Dinner is set for Wednesday, 26th October 2016 at the Monte Casino Ballroom. Partnering with the WPN are dedicated sponsors Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Tsogo Sun.

The announcement of the Regional winners was held over the last two months in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The regional finalists that have been recognized and acknowledged for the remarkable impression they have made on the industry are:

Young Achiever Award (under 35 years old)

– Gauteng: Marianka Victor, Managing Director, Finlay Mall Leasing.
– Western Cape: Kirsten Sloth-Nielsen, Project and Programme Manager, Greater Tygerberg Partnership.
– KZN: Sanam Shree, Chief Strategy & Investment Officer, Shree Property Holdings.

Business Woman of the Year Award – Entrepreneur Award

– Gauteng: Monalisa Sam, Founding Managing Director, Tungwa Retail Holdings.
– Western Cape: Busisiwe Nzo, Partner, Lakhanya Quantity Surveyors.

Professional of the Year: Corporate / Private Sector Award

– Gauteng: Madeleine Truter, Legal Counsel, Pivotal Fund and Noluthando Molao, Associate Director, Turner & Townsend.
– Western Cape: Liezel Conradie, Director Western Cape, JHI Properties.
– KZN: Karen Petersen, Development Director, Tongaat Hulett Developments.

Professional of the Year: Public Sector Award

– Gauteng: Helen Botes, CEO, City of Johannesburg Property Company.
– Western Cape: Ruby Gelderbloem, Director Property Management, City of Cape Town.
– KZN: Sibulele Diko, Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent Provincial Project Manager, Province of KZN.

A panel of judges representing a range of industry disciplines adjudicated the regional awards, and all the regional winners now go into a judging process, where winners will be announced at a glamorous gala event.

The panel of national judges includes:

– TC Chetty – Country Manager, RICS South Africa and Chief Executive, TC Chetty & Associates (TCAA).
– Gary Garrett – Head Real Estate Finance, Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.
– Peter Levett – Managing Director, Old Mutual Property.
– Genevieve Naidoo – Head of Credit Risk for the Real Estate Sector, Corporate and Investment Banking for Standard Bank and WPN Chair.

“It is incredible to be able to recognize and celebrate women in the property sector that have impacted, inspired, influenced and changed the face of the industry for 2016 in an exceptional way. The caliber of women we have seen over the last few weeks through the adjudication process signifies the remarkable impact women have made, in what has been a predominant male environment” says Genevieve Naidoo, WPN Chairlady and Head of Credit for Real Estate at CIB, Standard Bank.

Naidoo says: “We are proud to be able to roll out the event, not just in Gauteng, but in other regions – KZN and the Western Cape. Through our dedicated sponsors, we were able to create the platform to recognize women nationally.”

“The caliber of women that have been nominated prove to the industry that we not only have worked hard to achieve success, whilst balancing a career and family, but we earn our rightful place within the sector” says Sandi Mbutuma Vice Chair of WPN.

This is the first year that we have seen in excess of 50 women being recognized countrywide. This bears testament to the incredible women who are driving change within a predominantly male industry. This is an especially significant appreciation and tribute to women as the country celebrates a month of recognizing women.

Added to recognizing women making strides in the sector, October’s gala dinner, which has already attracted corporate support from Standard Bank, Fortress Income Fund, Growthpoint, JHI, Eris, Mara Delta, Stanlib and Pareto, will act as a fundraiser, with table sales raising funds to support the WPN Educational Trust’s bursary scheme into 2017 and beyond. Backed by the WPN Educational Trust’s financial support, the WPN has awarded 54 bursaries to previously disadvantaged female students since 2008, with ten bursaries for property-related degrees or diploma’s being awarded in 2016.

Ms Naidoo, a RICS board member and former WPN Rising Star Award Winner – says that educational and mentorship initiatives are core to WPN’s drive to spur demographic change across the property sector. Further, this demographic change isn’t just necessary for change sake. As the World Economic Forum finds, companies including women at top leadership levels tend to outperform those that don’t. Moreover, in South Africa’s current context, deepening economic engagement of women as half of the country’s labour resource, talent and idea-set is vital to lifting the long-term socio-economic outlook.