This year, the theme for International Women’s Day (8th March 2023) is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. Join us as we celebrate the innovative women in proptech working to create a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
In this interview, we’ll be discussing the topic with Sharon Thebe, Sales Manager at Property Inspect.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me, International Women’s day represents women’s resilience. Many women have the strength to carry themselves through and accept challenges as they come. They always look within themselves to continue the journey. My resilience has made my life easier working in the proptech industry.
What are the challenges facing women in proptech today?
As someone who started work in proptech with no experience, I have learned that the majority of women in this sector face the challenge of working hard to find resources to understand the market they work in better because most social groups are male-dominated and most women in those groups don’t take part or share information.
Can you share a story about a woman who inspires you?
Nicole Hiestermann took me under her wing and shared some groups with me to help me grow in the industry. She taught me that the most important factor in proptech is effective communication. Having effective communication in proptech means more work can be done while working smart. The last book she shared with me is Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P Frankel.
What progress have you seen in gender equality in your industry over the past year?
I am lucky to have started my proptech journey alongside amazing women who are always in my corner. Working with a diverse group full of women has been indeed a blessing and a motivation to keep pushing.
How can we ensure women are included in proptech conversations?
To ensure women are included in the conversation, we need to actively seek out and amplify women’s voices and start following each other’s movements. We learn every day, so let us share our experiences and skills needed in the market to start working in a better, more efficient way.
How can others advance gender equality and be better allies to women?
This one is simple, check in with women and see if they feel supported.
How can we encourage more women to pursue careers in male-dominated fields in the industry?
We can encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry by creating more work opportunities in the space and offering tools to help them learn, and to actually get more women to explore the industry and also share our experiences as women working in proptech.
What policies/initiatives promote women’s empowerment and gender equality
Flexible working would be a great initiative. Giving them the KPIs and allowing them to work flexibly will open up many opportunities for growth because of their keen interest to always learn and find effective ways to do their Simply put, working in a smarter way to get more done.
What message do you have for young women starting their careers in proptech?
You will never know what’s on the other side unless you cross the bridge. Proptech is all about effectiveness and meaningful interactions and relationships. At the end of the day, do what you love. If it’s taking too much time, find tools that can enable you to work smarter and faster so that you can do other tasks.
Working in proptech has shown me that my phone isn’t only for social media but also to get all my work tasks done. I spend so much time on my phone, but it’s a valuable tool for not just playing, but to work and learn as well.
What steps can we take on International Women’s Day and beyond to support women and advance gender equality?
An idea that I’d like to see become a reality is the creation of a platform or social gathering for women that seeks to support women working from home.
Share your story using #IWD23 and #EmbraceEquity on social media.