The real estate sector in Egypt has had a reputation for being a “boys club.” But an increasing number of women are working to change that, while training the next female generation to excel, too. Invest-Gate presents three instrumental females in the sector who are disrupting the male-dominated status quo and changing the face of Egypt’s economy one step at a time as they develop residential communities, advance the banking sector, and expand the mortgage finance market.
Marketing-whiz-turned-general-manager in only a few years time; Youssef took the first step of her professional career back in 2002 working in the marketing department of Orascom Hotels & Developments, followed by El Gouna & Taba Heights where she extensively learnt about real estate, hotels, and destination marketing.
“At the start of my career I chose to be a marketeer. From my point of view, a marketeer should be able to market any product or service as long as they understand the fundamentals of marketing very well. Accordingly, I was interested in applying this through my career by working in various fields,” Youssef tells Invest-Gate.
Believing that a person’s success lies on the individual’s aspirations and competence, rather than on the individual’s own gender, she has been thriving to undertake opportunities to garner invaluable experience in product/service development, as well as marketing, in aims to develop herself, as well as
“I hope to see an impact of what I have been doing on the Egyptian real estate market,” she says. Graduating from the American University in Cairo back in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in business, Youssef was eager to further advance her education. In 2007, she acquired an MBA with a specialization in marketing. She was soon able to swiftly climb the career ladder to head renowned developer bahrawi investment Co. after she had been working as its communications director for only a few years.
Youssef was lucky to have a great support system in the form of her family and work colleagues, yet she still sees the general attitude and perception of society towards females at the workplace as an “unnecessary obstacle that men do not have to face.”
“Women are excelling everywhere despite the challenges facing them,” she says, adding that she currently sees the general attitude quickly changing, especially in established local and multinational companies.
Hustling to put Ras Sudr on the Egyptian real estate market map despite the lack of extensive reliable information on the market, its trends, and best practices, which she sees as a major obstacle in the sector, Youssef is particularly proud to “have put an already great property such as La Hacienda Ras Sudr back on track.”
With success to back her up, Youssef believes every woman should believe in herself and in what she is
capable of achieving. “Dream big and focus on having a career because
it is an integral part of our existence. It gives us experience, knowledge that we can transfer to others, and it also gives us the freedom and autonomy to choose our lives,” she advises young female graduates.