Women in Sectional Title (WiST), a platform launched to promote gender balance in the South African property industry for women involved in the growing sectional title sector, recently celebrated its first birthday.
Founder Marina Constas, a specialist sectional title attorney, director of BBM Law and co-author of the reference book Demystifying Sectional Title, says WiST (Women in Sectional Title) has exceeded all expectations since its launch in September last year. “We’ve successfully built a growing, vibrant and collaborative community of women in property who share knowledge and support one another,” she says. “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.”
WiST’s future plans include training and empowering 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.”
One year down the line, the platform is more important than ever, she says. “Our growing member base is testament to the need that existed for an initiative like WiST (Women in Sectional Title), 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 (Women in Sectional Title) has hosted webinars covering a diverse range of topics and issues. These include industry specific subjects like the impact of Covid-19 regulations on community schemes and the challenges of undertaking building alterations and additions in complexes, and general themes like financial advice for women.
Reflecting on WiST’s value to the industry, Constas says 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 has a vision of bringing a health and wellness angle into the WiST offering, among others. “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. There’s growing interest and excitement. It feels like a safe space for women.”