Amongst a handful of successful female models in the Egyptian property market, Nermine Kouraitem has established herself as one of the top idols in the industry, climbing up the ladder to become Rooya Group’s Deputy CEO – Commercial. We sit with the female expert to get some insights on her footprint in the property market, as well as, the challenges she faced.
Can you elaborate first on your journey in the real estate market?
My journey in real estate kicked off right after graduation when I joined Teeba company. I worked on multiple development projects in Heliopolis and Nasr City before joining Rooya Group’s launch back in 2007, and that was the turning point in my career. I took part in large-scale projects such as Telal, Stone Park, and Hadaba. I held different posts in the company until I secured my position as Deputy CEO – Commercial.
Can you tell us more about your achievements in the market?
Of course, I have had many ups and downs throughout my journey. I am glad to have set the cornerstone of our mega projects, including Telal El Sokhna, Telal El Sahel, Stone Park, and Hadaba. Currently, I am now following up with Rooya on the groundbreaking works of a new unprecedented commercial project, entitled “Stone Street,” in east Cairo.
What privileges do females get when working in this field?
Regardless of gender, each person holds unique talents and skills; and those who stick to their goals can demonstrate beyond their capabilities and stand out. Yet, still our society is still considerably patriarchal, disregarding the significance of the female role in multiple industries; cultural perceptions dictate a woman’s status at any market in general.
Do you believe that this market is dominated by male leaders?
I totally disagree with this. There are numerous females leading their companies forward and acquiring powerful positions in the public and private sectors. The majority of sales and marketing departments in most of Egypt’s real estate firms include lots of women and such positions are very influential, allowing them to effectively participate in the market, as well as, the decision-making process. The government has already started to adopt a number of female empowerment programs, assigning some leading political and administrative positions to women.
In your opinion, which global best practices that can be applied in Egypt to bridge the gender gap problem?
Obviously, there is a cultural gap. Other societies have changed their mentalities and started to grant equal chances for both men and women. The gender inequality problem in developing countries can be highly attributed to the society’s mindset and erroneous perceptions.
Is it easy for a female to succeed in the real estate industry? What are the challenges?
Women have already achieved a lot in this industry. The only real challenge women face in Egypt is to be present at construction sites, where executive implementation works take place. Both the public and private sectors should have faith in women’s capabilities and encourage them to contribute to such fields in the same way men do.
What special aspects do women add to the real estate market?
Females can add an artistic touch and exquisite taste to the architecture and designs of the projects during the construction works. They can, consequently, enhance the finishing quality of real estate units and improve their ability to match the buyers’ needs.
What’s your golden advice for young females starting their career in the real estate market?
A woman has to utterly believe in herself and her one-of-a-kind capabilities. While the government, private sector, and society play significant roles in pushing women contribution ahead in this sector, they themselves should pursue their goals and eagerly strive to prove their qualities and abilities to compete at all levels. This has been already the case in Egypt as every successful team in the real estate industry includes at least one female model in leading posts.
Find this interview on page no. 20 at our March issue.