What Women in Property Think, of Women in Property!

A couple of months ago I published the first edition to our women in property campaign “Women in Construction”.
This developed into a larger than originally anticipated campaign receiving a massive public response in relation to what women within the sector thought. As a company we carried out a number of Video Blogs from a selection of ladies who work within property, some who work within social housing, some in private residential covering a wide selection of job roles.

We asked each of the women involved a selection of questions in regards to our campaign such as, what their role in their company is, how they got in to their sector and why they have stayed.
We then progressed to get their opinions on why we need more women in the sector and how they feel organisations can promote in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKhfpp29xs4

Vicki Fordham-Lewis works for MITIE, she is proud of her company and she appreciates she was given a wonderful opportunity and also feels there are a number of great opportunities within the sector that women could fill, they just need to want to do that. She mentioned how she feels organisations should be investing in the work force that’s coming up now through the colleges and universities, showing that there are so many great opportunities within construction, property management, maintenance, ect resulting in the need to encouraging younger ladies at school or university level to progress into the public sector, by perhaps offering graduate schemes to introduce the future work force at a younger age.

Vicki also mentions how back in the late 90’s early 2000’s there wasn’t a mass amount of women who were ‘out on the job’ therefore any females who were, needed to be strong and ensure that any questions needing to be asked, where backed up. However now a days things have changed, women are given a chance, women are respected in a male dominated work force and they should take the opportunities when they can.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1v_TZSx5bc

We also spoke to Kelly Bream working within the private sector as a head of operations for Berkeley homes basically managing the design for new business development. She changed field half way through her degree as she wanted to specialise is something a little less generic than her original field of becoming a barrister.
She mentioned how she would like to see more female CEO’s or directors because as little as under 2% are currently working in the sector, she would love to see more female architects, engineers, project managers, so if you’re out there, make sure you get noticed.

Gina Pierce is the Head of brand and marketing for Essential Living, a private developer and operator of units to rent in the UK, they have a pipeline of around 2000 fantastic units across London. Gina completed her BA in marketing however stumbled upon the property sector whilst working for a student accommodation brand as a web coordinator and fell in love with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIV7889TlNo

As a female she feels respected in the sector and as ladies only make up a whole of 15%, she would love to see more ladies progressing and maintaining their careers in the future, expressing how the property sector is a great division to get involved in.
She also mentioned how many industries perceived to be more suited to women for example ‘fashion’ however we could do a lot more to encourage property as a more attractive sector for ladies to work in.
Gina feels younger people shouldn’t feel the pressure to go to university as there are so many great internships and apprenticeships are out there that organisations should be advertising more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNdwor5ox7I

Michelle Davis works for Axis as a contract manager, the contract is currently worth 11million and covers around 6,000 properties. Michelle, like the other ladies we have interviewed, also fell into the property sector after changing her career route. She began as an administrator within the sector and has progressed through the ranks. We asked Michelle if she felt negativity in relation to being a lady in her career, although she doesn’t know many other female contract managers to compare experiences with, she doesn’t feel that she has encountered much, she mentioned how times have defiantly changed as 8 years ago as she remembers given toolbox talks and getting mocked for being a lady however now a days this wouldn’t happen, which is great.

To sum up my opinion of the outcome of our women in property campaign, I feel to progress forward in filling the already vacant opportunities for women within the property sector, it’s down to the employers to encourage young talent into their organisation. I appreciate although it will take time, money and effort to train young applicants to the level in which they need them to perform, I feel this is something that would benefit organisations in the long run because as long as they are treated, trained and targeted correctly, any young professional will be happy to give back to their employer.

We would like to thank all of the ladies who got involved in our women in property campaign and are still happy to hear any opinions and meet with ladies in the sector. Taking into consideration of all the comments collected form our “women in property”, they reflect that organisations need to promote graduate schemes, encouraging young talent into these sectors from an early age.

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