Influential and inspirational: Women in power shine at the virtual edition of the Asia Real Estate Summit 2020

For International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the industry leaders who continue to break gender barriers

We, too, can be heard in the technology sector. Blue Planet Studio/Shutterstock

Roughly a century ago, women across the globe weren’t allowed to participate in anything outside of the four corners of their homes. We weren’t allowed to vote, inherit a property, apply for a loan, open a bank account, become an accountant or lawyer, and much much more.

Throughout those years, we have had prominent figures who dedicated most of their lives to fight for women’s suffrage, including Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Ida Wells, Frida Kahlo, and Yuri Kochiyama, among others.

They have paved the way for women of today to enjoy all the benefits that were severely, even sometimes violently, restricted. But this, unfortunately, is an ongoing battle that we still face today.

That is why at the Asia Real Estate Summit (ARES) 2020: Virtual Edition held last December 2020, we gave some of the most influential and inspirational women leaders of the industry a platform to showcase their successes, their insights, their line of work.

The summit has grown exponentially from having just around five or six women on stage in 2018 and previous years to more than a third women speakers at the recent 2020 and 2019 summits, including proud members of the LGBTQ+ community. These women and LGBTQ+ members have shown us that we, too, can lead the real estate and proptech sectors to success, despite still being mostly male-dominated, according to the Insider.

Whereas in the real estate sector, Real Estate Express revealed that women have gone up in numbers, but the divide still exists, from being underestimated by their male colleagues to experiencing sexist dress codes to struggling with the gender pay gap. However, with such powerful women still fighting to be heard in their respective industries, all is not lost.

Women in real estate have gone up in numbers, but the divide still exists. Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

The strong female line up at the summit clearly demonstrates just how the real estate sector has fully embraced women in power, enabling them to take the lead on sustainability, green technology, and the new economy post-pandemic.

Among them is Taiwan’s first transgender digital minister Audrey Tang who shared ways in which Taiwan leads in open innovation, collaborative governance, and sustainable infrastructure. Deb Noller, the chief executive officer of Switch Automation, also joined the summit where she spoke about energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction through meaningful data.

The head of global internship programme at Microsoft Miri Rodriguez was also present to discuss the importance of brand storytelling in a socially distanced world.

Yet, these are just some of the key points these female leaders discussed at the summit.

A preview of the 2020 Asia Real Estate Summit virtual world

For International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, it is our great pleasure to honour these women, along with their valuable contributions to the industry:

  • As a policy keynote speaker on Constructing digital solutions
    Looking at Taiwan’s digital transformation and leadership in collaborative governance, sustainable infrastructure, and open innovation
    • Audrey Tang, Digital Minister, Taiwan
  • As an expert on Creating value in commercial real estate
    Digitalisation, how to drive change, and sustainability
    • Wilma Gerber, Chief Operating Officer, Project & Development Services, JLL Asia Pacific
  • As an international keynote on Innovation in today’s ecosystem
    The importance of storytelling in the age of smart homes, robotics, and AI assistants
    • Miri Rodriguez, Head of Global Internship Programme, Microsoft
  • As a moderator on the panel Rebuilding the world responsibly
    A new way to build using construction technology, innovations like 3D printing and solar panel tech, sustainable infrastructure, smart air monitoring systems
    • Moderator: Armelle Le Bihan, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Green Building Consulting & Engineering
  • As a tech keynote speaker on The Big Switch
    Using technology and meaningful data to improve efficiency and reduce our buildings’ carbon footprint
    • Deb Noller, Chief Executive Officer, Switch Automation
  • As a panellist on Leaders who are creating smarter, healthier, and safer cities
    What developers and decision-makers around the globe are doing to address sustainability issues
    • Gaynor Reid, Vice President of Communications & CSR, Accor in Southeast Asia
    • Kristin Thorsteins, Partner, Portman Investment Pte. Ltd.
    • Lynette Leong, Chief Sustainability Officer, CapitaLand Group
  • As the interviewer on Fireside Chat: Achieving carbon negative design
    How sustainable architecture can bring well-being to people
    • Begoña Lucena, Director, Artemis Associates

This article originally appeared in Read the 2019 lineup here.