Ekaterina Bakeeva talks about the evolving role of women in the industry and what keeps her driven even today.
Ekaterina Bakeeva entered the Community Association Management industry nine years ago. And in a short time, she knew she found her calling and made a lasting impact wherever she worked. Today she leads a team of community managers as a Senior Portfolio Manager at Kingfield Owners Association Management Services and even won the ‘Rising Star in Community Management’ at the 2021 International Real Estate Community Management Summit (IRECMS).
In this interview, Ekaterina talks about the evolving role of women in the industry and what keeps her driven even today.
We are witnessing many women in leadership roles; however, it is still a male-dominant industry. I have always believed in gender equality and not differentiating people by nationality. As long as the person is good in his/her job, gender or their nationality shouldn’t matter. I hope to see the same outlook within the industry as well.
While the industry has evolved on many fronts, one hopes to see more changes, especially concerning associating certain roles and pay grades to one’s gender/nationality. However, with so many changes implemented in the industry, I hope to see some development here as well.
During my career in the industry, I had male and female bosses. Based on my experience, I can confidently say that women bring a more personal approach to employee management and have a personal connection with the team. This is where women in leadership roles will make a difference. They will inspire more talented women to grow in the industry. I am proud to say that in my team women are the majority. I am happy to be their role model and push them to tap into their talents and become potential leaders one day.
To be fair, I would say that a mixture of factors motivates me everyday. Career progress is a big motivation for me. I started my career as a community coordinator nine years ago, and very quickly, I understood that I would like to pursue my career in this industry. Now, nine years later, I manage a team of community managers and coordinators.
The community management industry teaches many skills that one can also use in your daily life. For example, at work, community managers deal with financial management, building maintenance, emergency response, and many other tasks. Having this skill set and knowledge helps to overcome many challenges in life as well.
Being good at your job, knowing how to solve problems, overcoming challenges while delivering great results, and as a result being appreciated by the company is another motivation.
My advice would be to invest in education. While having experience is essential, solid industry knowledge will boost confidence and help to feel more comfortable in the job. The community management industry offers a wide range of educational programs, and I would suggest to everyone interested in advancing their career to start with CAI (Community Association Institute) courses available online and also taught by the industry experts in the classroom at IEREI (International experts real estate institute). It is also essential to expand your professional network; thus, attending workshops, seminars, and conferences, doing a volunteering job, and participating in awards would be a great addition to career progress.
Lastly, grab every opportunity that comes your way!