Report developed by: CRESA

We are delighted to present this comprehensive report on the Women's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Dinner, which was held at the prestigious Fairmont Norfolk during the 22nd Annual AfRES Conference. This event, generously sponsored by RICS, successfully brought together an assembly of 80 delegates, encompassing a diverse array of professionals, and mentors actively engaged in the real estate and built environment sector. The chosen theme for this event, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion," served as a compelling focal point, highlighting the immediate need and profound importance of championing gender diversity and empowerment within our industry. It is also noteworthy that among the attendees, we were honored to host 12 female students from the faculty of Built Environment and Design program-CRESA, whose active participation greatly enriched the event's discussions and further underscored its significance.

Womens Dinner

The Significance of the Women's Dinner

The Women's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Dinner marked a pivotal moment within the real estate and built environment industry, serving as a significant platform for professionals and students alike. It represented more than just an event; it embodied a collective commitment to the advancement of women in our field. In an industry historically characterized by gender imbalances, this dinner was a beacon of change. It allowed professionals to transcend hierarchical boundaries, fostering an environment where knowledge flowed freely. Students gained unique access to the wealth of experience held by established industry leaders, enabling them to glean insights into the intricacies of the built environment sector that extend far beyond textbooks.


Moreover, this gathering addressed the pressing challenges and opportunities faced by women in our field. It was a space where conversations about the gender pay gap, career progression hurdles, and the under-representation of women in leadership roles were met with understanding and a shared resolve to drive change. In this context, the dinner was not merely an isolated event but a cornerstone in the ongoing effort to promote diversity and gender inclusion. It seamlessly aligned with broader industry goals, recognizing that diverse perspectives and inclusive practices are essential for innovation, sustainable growth, and the creation of environments that reflect the needs and aspirations of all stakeholders.


Participation of Young Women Surveyors


One of the standout features of the Women's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Dinner was the dynamic participation of young women surveyors. These young talents, immersed in diverse academic disciplines including real estate, construction management, quantity surveying, and architecture, played a pivotal role in elevating the event to exceptional heights.


Their active involvement was not only a testament to their commitment but also a reflection of the profound impact young professionals can have on the industry. During the dinner, these students demonstrated their expertise and insights through engaging discussions that addressed critical issues. Their presentations showcased innovative approaches to affordable housing and social housing design, revealing a deep-seated dedication to advancing sustainable and inclusive communities.


In doing so, they underscored their potential to shape the future of the built environment sector. Their ideas, fresh perspectives, and aspirations breathed new life into the ongoing discourse about the role of women in the industry, emphasizing that the future is indeed in capable hands. The active participation of these young women surveyors not only enriched the event but also reaffirmed the importance of nurturing emerging talent to drive meaningful change within our profession.



Mentorship by RICS Chartered Surveyors


Central to the event's resounding success was the mentorship program orchestrated by the esteemed RICS Chartered Surveyors, Jordan D'Gama and Bernadette Gitari. Their profound contributions transcended the boundaries of the dinner event, leaving an enduring imprint on the young female surveyors fortunate to be under their guidance. Through this mentorship program, these seasoned professionals imparted invaluable insights garnered from years of experience. They offered more than just advice; they served as beacons of inspiration and role models for the aspiring women in the sector. This mentorship played a pivotal role in shaping not only the immediate career aspirations but also the long-term professional growth trajectories of these individuals. It equipped them with a deeper understanding of the complexities within the real estate and built environment sector, arming them with both knowledge and the confidence needed to excel in their pursuits. The mentorship program symbolizes a torch passed from one generation of trailblazers to the next, fostering a legacy of empowered and impactful women in our industry.


Contributions of Young Female Surveyors


Our young female surveyors actively engaged in discussions on critical industry topics, including gender equity, diversity, and the role of women in the real estate and construction sectors. They shared their perspectives, and experiences, enriching the dialogue on promoting equity and inclusion in the profession. Moreover, they actively networked with industry professionals, fostering connections that will serve them well in their future careers.


Impact of Mentorship by RICS Officials


The mentorship program led by RICS officials, Bernadette Gitari and Jordan D'Gama, has been transformative. Their guidance and mentorship have empowered young female surveyors with a deeper understanding of the industry, instilling in them the confidence and knowledge