Lourdes Josephine Gotianun Yap of Filinvest hailed as first female Philippines Real Estate Personality of the Year

As a champion of inclusivity and women empowerment, she has paved the way for more women in power in a male-dominated sector

The Philippines’ first female Real Estate Personality of the Year

The real estate industry has long been deemed male-dominated. Yet in recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of more and more women who have not only bridged the gap, but have also made their footprint in the sector. These women who have broken gender barriers have taken major strides to not only support their gender, but to also provide them with opportunities.  

On the 10th year of the PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards, part of the regional 17-year-old Asia Property Awards series, we vow to honour inspirational leaders such as our very first female Real Estate Personality of the Year in the Philippines, the President and CEO of Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC), as well as the CEO of Filinvest Land Inc (FLI), Lourdes Josephine Gotianun Yap. 

As the only recognition given to an individual and the only one bestowed by the editors of Property Report by PropertyGuru, the official magazine of Asia Property Awards & Events, the much anticipated Real Estate Personality of the Year accolade is granted to an individual that has showcased their passion and commitment to the real estate sector, the environment, and the people through innovations, developments, sustainable solutions, and philanthropic deeds. 

Upon receiving the prestigious title at the annual gala held last 7th of October in Fairmont Makati, Josephine shared: “I feel deeply honoured to have been selected by the Property Guru Group for this recognition. Being the first woman to receive this award in the Philippines is a testament to the accomplishments of the many women professionals of the Philippines working in the property industry.” 

Red carpet interview with the author

As a true leader, she added: “This is a testament to the decades of hard work and passion that Filinvest dream builders have poured into the growth of our businesses. We enable Filipinos to achieve their dream – this is the Filinvest legacy that we strive to uphold. This award inspires us to double our efforts because we value the trust of every Filipino family who chose to build their dream with us.” 

Under her helm, she has formed a formidable team that has caught the attention of international organisations, most notably US-based nonprofit Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI), who recognised FDC for being one of the top 10-women led firms in the globe with the highest percentages of women in the board of directors at 50 percent. 

The 2021 report headlined “Women CEOs: Opening Doors to Boards and C-Suites” surveyed roughly 3,000 firms across 55 countries around the globe to create a core data on women who are in leadership roles. The data revealed that out of 2,994 firms, only 143 are being led by a female CEO – and Gotianun Yap is among the few who has shattered gender barriers. 

Founded by her parents, FDC has nurtured diversity and inclusivity, which enabled our recipient to shine and continue to inspire her gender. 

Though her parents opened the doors, Josephine has proven to be a trailblazer in her own right. Throughout her career, she has ushered the 60-year-old FDC – with interests in real estate, hospitality, banking and financial services, and power  –  to even greater heights, and now manages around 11,000 employees at Filinvest Group. 

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At FLI, she was instrumental in building its strong presence across the archipelago, boasting a wide array of portfolio, from residential subdivisions and townships to mid-rise and high-rise condominiums to offices and industrial hubs and to shopping centres and leisure developments. To date, FLI has around 280 projects in over 50 major areas nationwide, with the 244-hectare masterplanned urban centre development Filinvest City, new township developments in the Clark Special Economic Zones, as well as Festival Supermall, among her notable achievements. 

Apart from our Awards programme, several other institutions recognised her accomplishments, such as the Asia CEO Awards 2021 who honoured her with the Circle of Excellence Awardee for Global Filipino Executive of the Year and Forbes Asia Magazine who included her in the prestigious 50 Businesswomen in the Mix in Asia list, which acknowledges women who lead profitable firms. 

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