Breaking the glass ceiling: How PropertyGuru Group is raising the roof on diversity and empowering women in real estate

Its series of events reward female trailblazers for their valuable contributions to the industry

Chairperson of the Judges Cyndy Tan Jarabata (left), General Manager of Awards Jules Kay (middle), First Female Real Estate Personality of the Year Lourdes Josephine Gotianun Yap (right)

Diversity in the workplace has become a hot topic across industries globally, and the real estate sector is no exception. In Asia, efforts are being made to create a more diverse workforce, and PropertyGuru Group is at the forefront of this movement. 

According to data gathered by McKinsey & Company, businesses with diverse workforces are more likely to outperform their peers financially. However, the report also notes that while progress has been made, there is still room for improvement. In Asia, only 16 percent of board members are women, compared to the global average of 20 percent. 

With 34 nationalities in its workforce, PropertyGuru takes pride in having 65 percent women employees. Furthermore, one-third of its board of directors are women, indicating a commitment to diversity at the highest levels. 

A preview of the female powerhouses at PropertyGuru Group

More than its diverse workforce, PropertyGuru has taken major strides to recognise and celebrate women in the real estate industry through various programmes. The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards series grant the PropertyGuru Real Estate Personality (REP) and Icon Award titles to trailblazers – both men and women – in the industry. 

In the span of 18 years of celebrating the industry’s best, the programme has presented the REP honour to nine women leaders across 11 markets. The latest among them was Filinvest (Philippines) President Lourdes Josephine Gotianun Yap and Aurum Land (Singapore) CEO Michelle Yong in 2022. Meanwhile, MQDC (Thailand) CEO Thippaporn Ahriyavraromp (Chearavanont) was the first female to receive the Icon Award in 2020. To be given this highly anticipated title at the Grand Final event, she has bested 60 previous REP awardees, including male winners in all markets. 

Ovy Sabrina (left) and Novita Tan (right), founders of Rebricks, Indonesia-based producer of eco building materials, receiving the Tech Innovation Award at the 2022 Summit

The company’s efforts to promote diversity extend beyond recognition and awards. The PropertyGuru Asia Real Estate Summit has been prioritising diversity, and in 2022, over 50 percent of the speakers were women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, the Summit’s after-party, themed ARES 2022 Power Women, celebrated four outstanding women leaders from across the region for their contributions to the industry, namely TAJARA Leisure & Hospitality Group (Philippines) President Cyndy Tan Jarabata, Asiana Group (Indonesia) President Director Loemongga Haoemasan, Sunway Berhad (Malaysia) Managing Director Sarena Cheah, and JLL Thailand Chairperson Suphin Mechuchep. 

Property Report, the official publication of the Awards and Summit, has dedicated pages for inspiring women leaders, through in-depth interview features and podcast episodes. 

Overall, the Group’s commitment to diversity and inclusion sets the stage for other businesses. By promoting equity and recognising the contributions of women and underrepresented groups, PropertyGuru Group is raising the roof to create a more diverse and inclusive industry. 

Gynen Kyra Toriano, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].