How did you get into the property industry?
When I left university, I started by working as a PA at The Mansion Group which is a student accommodation developer. Whilst I was here, I learnt about the pathway to becoming a chartered surveyor as a colleague of mine was currently studying towards their APC. I was encouraged at this job to look into it and so I signed up to an MSc in Real Estate and joined Colliers where I was supported through my graduate years to becoming chartered.
How has the industry changed while you’ve been working in it?
I would say within the office sector (where my role sits) there have historically been 1 or 2 female agents swimming in a sea of male counterparts. However, in the last couple of years, we are slowly growing in numbers. I have to say, I have mostly felt at ease in this sector and find the majority of my agent peers extremely friendly and helpful.
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
I feel that I have been very fortunate in this sense as I have always had supportive Directors and management teams. I have however experienced this through stories of friends in the industry and where their leadership team have been unsupportive. This has been reflected in a number of ways – unexplainable gender pay gaps, treatment in the workplace post-maternity leave and not being given the same opportunities to grow in the same way as their male colleagues. It is important to support these friends and make sure you share their stories and educate your own teams and network on how these situations can be and should be avoided.
Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so important?
I honestly think that having a diverse team makes you far more rounded and balanced – I work with two males, and we all bring different attributes to the table. We are able to share our ideas and find that we are more creative as a team rather than individually. We think very differently which is a bonus and should be seen as an opportunity rather than an issue.
Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
Although we have come a long way since the days of our Suffragette Sisters but there is still some way to go. So, it is necessary to call out prejudice and celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of your female friends and colleagues.
What has been your career highlight so far?
When the final lease at Northspring – Spring Gardens completed. This was the first project where I was involved in the asset from the very beginning. A lot of love was thrown into this project from every single team involved and collectively we changed the small suite office market in Manchester; providing independent, local companies with beautiful, grown-up workspace that they can be proud of.