The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is placing a stronger focus on the empowerment of women in the built environment sector at the Annual RICS Africa Summit, taking place in Sandton, Johannesburg, from 22-23 February 2017.
As part of an expanded event, this year’s RICS Africa Summit is holding a joint mentoring workshop with the Women’s Property Network (WPN) on the first day of the summit. RICS President, Amanda Clack, will host the workshop luncheon together with WPN leaders and women working in various levels of the broader property industry.
“This is an exciting initiative for us as the workshop is part of a pilot women’s mentorship and empowerment programme that RICS has started under the presidency of Amanda Clack. It provides a valuable opportunity for female property professionals in South Africa to share experiences and learn from their counterparts in the UK,” says TC Chetty, RICS Country Manager for South Africa.
“Through this mentorship programme, RICS aims to provide support to women surveyors and property professionals in South Africa, and to develop a pipeline of talent for women surveyors to remain and prosper in the profession. Both mentors and mentees will gain new skills, networks and benefit from a culture of support and sharing best practice within RICS internationally,” explains Chetty.
Amanda Clack comments: “As president of RICS, I am particularly pleased that our women’s mentorship and empowerment programme is gaining momentum. I am looking forward to the women’s workshop luncheon at the upcoming RICS Africa Summit in Johannesburg. Mentoring and empowering women is on the agenda of RICS through this pilot programme, which we hope to extend worldwide in the future.”
She adds: “In the increasing war for talent we need to attract, retain and support more women in the profession. Mentorship is a key support mechanism with both mentee and mentor gaining much from this special relationship. For me, it is important as you climb the ladder you bring someone with you. Thus, the RICS programme speaks to this agenda.”
Lee-Anne Bac, a WPN Gauteng committee member and Director of Real Estate and Construction at Grant Thornton, has been leading the effort from WPN’s side on the joint women’s mentorship initiative with RICS in South Africa.
“It all started as a conversation between WPN and RICS last year at the RICS Africa Summit on the need to empower women in the industry through mentorship. I’m glad it has become an official pilot programme between RICS in the UK and WPN in South Africa aimed for the benefit of women in the sector,” says Bac.
“I am passionate about women’s empowerment and this is a great cross-border collaboration between WPN and RICS. It’s an association that we are proud of, with this mentorship initiative having the potential to grow so that it is accessible to more women,” she adds.
The 3rd Annual RICS Africa Summit kicks off on 22 February 2017 in Johannesburg with the women’s empowerment workshop luncheon, a technical building tour and dinner. The main conference day on 23 February will take place at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton Central. The summit has established itself as a leading forum on Africa’s built environment and real estate sectors.