On the 5th of October 2022, the Council for the Built Environment Board (CBE) held a webinar under the theme: “Shattering the Glass Ceiling in the Built Environment Professions” and where stakeholders joined forces across the industry online to deconstruct the barriers, identify enablers and devise strategies towards achievement of gender equality, diversity, and inclusion in the built environment.

The discussion was facilitated by Ms Prudence Madiba, Chairperson Council for the Built Environment, Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) Transformation Collaborative Forum. The keynote address was delivered by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Public Works, Roads, and Infrastructure, Noxolo Kiviet, who was joined by the panelists namely, founder of Prana Consulting Refilwe Lesufi., BRICS Women Business Alliance Chairperson, Lebogang Zulu, Architect and Director at Colab Concepts Architects, Kirsty Ronne and Senior Lecturer at University of South Africa, Dr Allison Anthony completed the panel.

The webinar commenced with an official opening introductory remarks by Dr Dlamini about CBEs mandate and touched on the challenges facing women in the built in the environment.

Following this, was input by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Public Works Roads, and Infrastructure Noxolo Kiviet, who commenced her address by quoting Oprah Winfrey: “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment”.  Your environment cannot define who you are and where you are going. She reported that Oprah Winfrey faced personal struggles, however, she shattered the glass at age 19 when she became the youngest person and the first African- American woman to anchor the news at Nashville’s WTVF-TV.  She emphasised that the built environment must transform, and we must be obsessed about gender issues in this sector. She asserted that despite the growing need for built environment progression, women remained an untapped resource.

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