If South African companies hired and promoted women at the same rate as countries such as Norway, the economy could grow by 30%, according to a recent study by a leading research company.
“To those who think that gender equality only benefits women, the numbers tell a different story,” says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of MultiINET Home Loans.
“Data makes it clear that gender equality is the engine for the global workforce. Greater female participation in the workforce can make a greater impact on the economy.”
According to McKinsey & Company, gender-diverse companies around the world are 15% more likely to show profits than their competitors. Just by adding more women to the workforce, the global GDP could go up by 26%, according to McKinsey Global Institute.
This data shows the profound impact that greater inclusivity could have for individuals as well as companies’ bottom lines, South Africa and the global economy.
MultiINET Home Loans Operations Director Nadia Isaacs agrees. “The more that women who are educated can push their potential in the workplace, the more we can increase the number of pay cheques and get the economy going. When people have more to spend, everyone benefits,” she said.
“Then there’s the inclusion part,” Isaacs added, “when women and men work together, studies show that they actually come up with better solutions, which is the basic premise of diversity in the workplace.” She explains that innovation comes from the friction and interactivity of the people from all different backgrounds: male, female, introvert, extrovert, different ethnicities, generations and so on. “There’s so much power in that,” she says.
Rademeyer believes South Africa and in particular, the property and bond origination sector still has a long way to go and that companies must look within their organisations to ensure that they’re both opening doors for women and ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for them.
Rademeyer explains that mentorship plays a huge role in advancing women in the workplace.
“A lot of men are in still in leadership roles and need to mentor women and sponsor them to get them in to more senior positions. It is also important that women take on the role of mentor and sponsorship to other women once they get there,” Rademeyer says.
“Reach way down into your organisation to find not only your direct reports but also the women who are three levels down, who you believe will be the next generation of leaders, and mentor them,” Isaacs states.
When asked what advice she has for other female property professionals who are finding it difficult to establish themselves and thrive within the industry, Nadia replied: “ Most importantly, they should not isolate themselves – they should actively seek people, men and women, with whom they can engage to get advice and the necessary support.”
The property sector has become increasingly inclusive over the past two decades and there has been an increase in women role players in the sector, yet in the bond origination sector, there has been very little to no transformation, apart from one visionary company, MultiNET Home Loans.
MultiNET’s commitment to gender parity and transformation has shown great financial results for the company as they have weathered the COVID-19 storm and June 2020 set a new company turnover record. In July 2020, they achieved a R1 billion in home loans granted.
Gender parity in the property industry still has a way to go. As a recognised leader in the bond origination industry, MultINET as an organisation are committed to building leadership competencies and increasing opportunities for female employees.
“We have established ourselves as a truly independent mortgage company in the market focused on sharing with our people and transforming the industry for all to benefit from,” says Rademeyer in closing