As we celebrate Women’s Month, we speak to Managing director, Dogon Group Properties Alexa Horne who has faced challenges in business, particularly within industries believed to be the preserve of men.
But she is proving that determination, integrity and empathy can move mountains.
Over her career, Alexa Horne has been involved in many different aspects of the industry, ranging from property law to property finance.
It was, however, during her years at Investec Bank, where she was involved with foreign property sales, that she met Dogon Group Properties founder Denise Dogon.
“The relationship grew over the years from a work and friendship perspective. About two and a half years ago I was approached to join Dogon Group as their general manager and in April last year I was appointed to the position of group director.”
What are some of the challenges you, as a woman, face constantly, or have faced in your career?
I think the main challenge women face, especially those who have children, is maintaining a balance between work and family life. Fortunately, my loved ones understand the nature of my work and that my phone does not stop ringing. Hopefully, I’m setting a strong example for my children about commitment and hard work.
How have you overcome these challenges?
I had to have open and honest discussions with my children about my job and what it demands from me. School kids can be nasty and once or twice there have been comments made along the lines of “why does your mom work?” and “why doesn’t she collect you from school?” I find it interesting that it’s often little girls who stereotype the quickest. It is our responsibility as mothers to equip our daughters with the tools to dream and believe they can be whatever they put their minds to.
What advice do you have for other women getting started in the industry?
There is no substitute for hard work and integrity. It is quite remarkable how one can stand out and be noticed on a reputation built on these two characteristics. I think women have a very special quality in that we are empathetic and compassionate. It is possible to be a strong negotiator and yet still have a soft side. Women need to play to their strengths.
Who is your female role model?
My female role model is my mother. She is a remarkable lady who made bringing up four children look easy. She advised me to always be the best I could be and not to compare myself with others but to strive to be the best version of myself. She also taught me to value my independence which is something I hold very dear.