With Environmental, Social, and Governance standards being highlighted on the corporate world’s sustainability agenda, it is clear that diversity and inclusion are at the foundation for the development of the next generation of businesses. Ana Dumitrache, Country Head at CTP in Romania and a speaker at BR’s Inspiring Voices #EqualFuture event, says that companies must be required to have a balanced gender representation in their boardrooms.
“Gender equality wcould never come as a natural step,” says Ana Dumitrache’s, as international studies showed that it would take 200 years to reach gender equality if companies weren’t legally obliged to reach specific targets.
A different approach in real estate
The Country Head of CTP Romania says that it is easier to implement diversity inside the company she runs, as CTP has 82 employees, of whom 50 percent are men and 50 percent are women.
“We didn’t intend to reach this parity because we don’t have a specific D&I programme; it is just our organisational culture, which is supported by our shareholders. The situation is similar with that seen at the group level, where over 42 percent out of 430 employees are women,” Dumitrache notes.
According to her, in the logistics parks managed by CTP, 90 percent of employees are blue collar, which led the company to implement in a novel pilot project inside one of its largest logistics parks: a luxury clubhouse.
“The idea behind this project was that all individuals deserve respect, regardless their social and professional status, and this leads to inclusion. The sustainability of inclusion comes from the fact that it brings different perspectives on the same problem and creates a significant potential for creativity, even in sectors like real estate. The culture of respect helps us perform really well and supports an internal leadership model that is based on the power of example, which is a good foundation for any inclusion strategy,” she adds.
Dumitrache says that the real estate industry – from agencies to investment funds – is generally dominated by men, both in Romania and abroad.
“But women are well represented on the Romanian real estate market, because there is a huge need for attention to detail in our country, and this approach is profitable in the long run.”
However, she admits that sometimes it is very difficult for a woman to succeed in this sector, as it is dominated by very powerful and territorial males.
“You literally have to conquer territories, which is quite difficult for a woman. But it is a very interesting experience and I think that if they are not afraid, women can ascend to any hierarchical level. Still, we need companies to support this endeavour,” Dumitrache argues, adding that CTP’s top management is aware of the effectiveness of women’s work within the company and of the importance of a gender-balanced leadership. This is why the group’s board includes two highly experienced women.