Women in property celebrates first birthday

2022-01-31T08:26:28+00:00January 20th, 2022|News|

September 2021 marked the first birthday of Women in Sectional Title (WiST), a platform launched to promote gender balance in the South African property industry by connecting, supporting, and developing women involved in the growing and dynamic sectional title sector.

Marina Constas is a specialist sectional title attorney, director of BBM Law, and founder of Women in Sectional Title (WiST). Credit by: WiST

Marina Constas is a specialist sectional title attorney, director of BBM Law, and founder of Women in Sectional Title (WiST). Credit by: WiST

Founder Marina Constas, who is a specialist sectional title attorney, director of BBM Law and co-author of reference book ‘Demystifying Sectional Title’, says that WiST has exceeded all expectations since its launch in September 2020. “We have successfully built a growing, vibrant and collaborative community of women in property who share knowledge and support one another. WiST reaches more than 3 500 women in the property sector. Our educational and networking events have been commended and our audience has grown steadily.”

Constas says that WiST’s future plans include training and empowering previously disadvantaged women wanting to pursue a career in the property industry. “One of our next priorities is to put historically disadvantaged South African women through the University of Pretoria’s Introductory Programme in Sectional Titles Management and place them as interns with managing agencies. WiST’s vision is to build a skilled, representative sectional title community that is enriched by diversity and in which everyone can thrive and advance.

“One of the most wonderful things about the platform is the warm reception we have had from the women in this space, as well as the ongoing, strong support at our webinars,” she enthuses. “The men who support us have also been great, attending our webinars and recruiting their staff to join.

“One year down the line, this platform is more important than ever. Our growing, enthusiastic member base is testament to the great need that existed for an initiative like WiST, to enable women in property to grow, share and learn from each other. The Property Charter and the ongoing need for transformation in the property sector place us in a position where we are relevant and much needed.”

In the past year, WiST has hosted compelling webinars covering a diverse range of topics and issues. These included industry specific subjects like the impact of COVID-19 regulations on community schemes and the challenges of undertaking building alterations and additions in complexes, as well as general themes like financial advice for women. WiST’s anniversary webinar this month explored the recently gazetted Electricity Generation Act regulations that will allow community schemes like complexes and residential estates to have their own power plants and generate their own electricity.

“With every webinar, every month, WiST is gaining more traction and building a growing network. The response to the platform is motivating us to provide excellent content and to keep going,” states Constas. She says that the WiST team is also heartened by the positive feedback from members.

“Happy birthday. Thanks to the whole team for always providing us with knowledge that empowers us women each day. Best of luck with all the future endeavours,” wrote one WiST member on the platform’s first birthday. “Happy birthday WiST. Glad to be part of the tribe,” commented another.

Reflecting on WiST’s value to the industry, Constas says that women are communicators, and very often implementors. “An empowered woman with the correct knowledge is incredibly powerful for positive and proactive change in the community schemes space.”

 Looking ahead, she says that WiST will strive to “grow its subscriber base, broaden its reach, and find new ways to offer sponsors value that they cannot find anywhere else”. She also has a vision of bringing a health and wellness angle into the WiST offering. “Enabling women to find balance in looking after their physical and mental health is important, too. I am very excited about WiST’s future. This platform is resonating with women. We feel it. There is growing interest and excitement. It feels like a safe space for women. They feel protected by us in some way, and I am honoured to be part of it.”

Constas says that WiST is enormously grateful to the sponsors that share the goal to unite and develop women from all spheres of sectional title. The platform’s current sponsors are specialist finance company ZDFin, CIA building insurance specialists, virtual meetings system MeetingPal, BCMTrac community schemes management software and Sectional Title Solutions.

To find out more about Women in Sectional Title or to join WiST, visit: https://womeninsectionaltitle.co.za/