I am sure that headline got your attention! For many years, I cringed when I was invited to Women in Property events. I didn’t see the point in women coming together when in my opinion, we needed everybody in the room to hear and be part of the solution to addressing the issues.
Over the years, I have 100% changed my mind. As a parent of two girls, a mentor of a young woman and as someone who has navigated an interesting route in property, I realise that there is definitely a role.
What do I mean by this? There is definitely a place for women to discuss and debate anything and everything; to learn from each other’s experiences and to build support networks outside of their office environment.
Recently, I was fortunate to attend and speak at two Women in Property events. A mega event by Bisnow and an intimate lunch hosted by our commercial agents, SHW. Both brought together women from a broad range of backgrounds, experiences and interests - with one common goal; we work in the property industry.
Whilst property brought us together, we shared so many other similarities – music, hairstyles, celebrities! We discussed our career successes and failures, our desire for more equity in our industry, to encourage more innovation into the sector and to be open to the changes that are coming. We also discussed embracing female ambition, promoting empathy and the unique attributes that every individual can bring to the table.
We also discussed encouraging women to build a support system, a cheerleading squad, a go-to gang – whatever terminology you want to use, the people who will inspire, challenge and motivate you.
Two last points that I want to share:
1) I really valued walking away from the events and making a personal commitment to making our industry more human; more people focused. There are lots of really small things that we can all do; for example, volunteering to speak at a school assembly, or being a mentor, or befriending an older person who lives alone, or helping a new starter to understand different career routes, or joining your local community group to help out. Every little action makes a big difference.
2) We all have a responsibility to let everyone know that Women in Property events are an opportunity to learn, connect with others, share ideas and build your network.
See you at the next Women in Property event.