As India enters a new era of economic growth, the Indian real estate sector, contributing 6% to the national GDP, has become the country’s second largest employer. However, in this sector, there is a breeze of change blowing now. Recent reports from various trade analysts suggest that gender diversification in the sector has taken place at a very fast pace. From property consultants, channel partners and agents; to leading multinational real estate development firms, women are leading the Indian realty sector to scale new heights. Dynamic and adaptable, the real estate sector has exhibited a strong growth trend that has gained from women taking up more active roles.
There is, however, a lot of ground still to be covered. Due to prevalent perception, gender-based differential growth trajectories, bias and exclusivity, the real estate sector still acts as a deterrent rather than a preferred sector for Indian women. It is important to note that the general misconception is that women employees show a downtrend in their professional commitments post marriage. In the male-dominated hierarchy, women are generally projected to have capricious career priorities post motherhood. However, the reality presents another picture.
As we look towards future horizons, women careerists are increasingly beginning to disprove these stereotypes. The inspiring stories of women taking up leadership roles in the real estate sector have proved that marriage and motherhood are not hindrances in their professional growth. With perfect adaptability, women are now breaking age old myths and entering the domain previously denied to them. Playing their dual roles, women are proving each day that be it on the professional or the personal front, their multitasking potential are par excellence. As an acknowledgement of their performance, firms are now allowing their women employees to plan and take pre-planned sabbaticals that optimize their performance.
Industry bodies like the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) have made a significant push to encourage gender diversification and inclusivity within the sector. Through their unwavering determination, focused hard work and honed talent, women employees with skill and ambition have risen in ranks based on their merit. The industry’s future prospects will find more women taking up highly demanding roles in the sales and marketing, finance, administration and human resource management domains. This can be seen by fundamental changes introduced in the regulatory mechanisms established by RERA, which have led to greater transparency in the real estate sector. Furthermore, changes in the GST and other government policies have established a more professional environment that has contributed to the growth in women participation in the sector. With increasing professionalism, it is slowly opening up to women and has started reaping the benefits as women bring in a stronger organizational quality to the previously unregulated environment.
The entry of multinational property consultants into the Indian realty market is another reason for its increasing gender neutrality. Many of these organizations believe in the equal opportunity principle which is providing women with better avenues of growth. With sound reasoning and an empathetic outlook, women have proved to be an invaluable asset in the growth story of the realty sector. Having an innate familiarity with local conditions and communities has helped women employees achieve ambitious targets. The additional negotiation abilities of women will be a major USP for large business operations going forward. It is well accepted that the congenial approach that women bring to the table has been a major driver of higher customer satisfaction.
Future growth of the realty sector cannot be achieved without the equal contribution of half of the talent pool available. Thus, it goes without saying that the Indian realty sector has much to gain by being more accommodative towards women employees. Statistics show that due to their vicarious approach amalgamated with thorough professionalism, women employees inspire greater trust and credibility for their firms. This has gone a long way in women rising to the highest echelons of leadership in the real estate sector.
(By Aishwarya Bansal, Co-founder, Smartworld Developers)