Over the last few decades, women have carved a significant place in the real estate entrepreneurship domain. On the eve of Women's Day, we spoke to Shaina Ganapathy, Head-Community Outreach, Embassy Group, on her perspective about the need for more women in leadership roles.

1)The year gone by has been a challenging year. What strategies did you adopt to tide over the crisis, and how has the year been for your company? 

While this year has proven to be very challenging, it has also been a testament to the power of collaboration. We, at Embassy, strongly believe in encouraging a collective response to the common challenges we face.

2)How has been your professional journey so far, and what delights you the most about your career? 

My professional journey at Embassy began 15 years ago, which allowed me to examine how corporates can join hands with the Government to create a larger and more in-depth impact. Collaboration has become the cornerstone of my journey so far. We used to advocate how companies can work closely with the Government to align with our nation's larger development goals.

As a builder, what makes it all worthwhile is having the capacity to give back in such a profound manner. We have been able to build meaningful relationships with our clients while creating benchmarks for collaboration in the space of CSR. Creating impact at this level while nurturing so many vital partnerships has been the most rewarding aspect of my career.

3)What do you think is the general perception of women in real estate? 

I have found that women in the real estate have proven to be extremely successful, despite the industry dominated by men. Some of the largest portfolios, both in the commercial and residential spaces, are headed by Women. Our eye for detail, sensitivity while conducting transactions and ability to manage relationships set us apart from our male counterparts.

4)How do you maintain a work-life balance? 

I maintain a good work-life balance by focusing on fitness – I spend an hour and a half in the mornings and evenings working out. In the last year, I've been relaxing by cooking and baking. Finally, I make sure that I take enough time off to travel.

5)What are the challenges you have faced as a woman in a male-dominated industry? 

I have been extremely fortunate to have not faced many of the challenges that my colleagues in this industry and others have encountered. In fact, being a woman has often proven to be an advantage in the space of CSR, where it's been a boon in interacting and juggling relationships with the Government and corporates.

6)Any tips for women venturing in real estate?

For young women entering into the real estate industry, my advice would be to invest in yourself – from your communication skills to your professional appearance. Keep learning – the real estate industry is one that constantly changes and it's important to always be on top of all the various trends. Don't be afraid to take risks at work. Relationships are also very important in this space, curating meaningful relationships and adding value to them is vital. Finally, don't see your home life as a wife or mother as a weakness but instead as a strength.