News

8 March 2022

International Women’s Day 2022 – #Breakthebias

SHW News


As part of International Women’s Day 2022, we spoke to a few of the very talented women, working across our team, to find out how they got into the industry, what they enjoy about their role and what the industry can do better to enable more women to work in property.



Hayley Townsend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your role at SHW? 

Senior Property Manager.

 

How did you get into the industry?

Through an apprenticeship in administration.

 

What is your favourite thing about your job?

No day is the same, and you get to help people.  

 

What advice would you give to a woman - or anyone - looking to get into the property industry?

Have confidence in what you can offer and achieve.  

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector?

Promoting different roles in the sector. There are a variety of career options that women should know about.

 

Jenni Styan

 

 

What is your role at SHW?

Head of Divisional Administration.

 

How did you get into the industry?

I joined SHW in July 2005 as a secretary working for Building Consultancy Division.

 

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Diversity, no day being the same and new challenges with new things to learn.  And having the opportunity to voice opinions to make changes in a positive way with regards to working practices.  

 

What advice would you say to a woman - or anyone - looking to get into the property industry? 

The work is diverse with new challenges for personal growth.

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector? 

Continued improvements for equal pay and flexibility with working patterns is needed across the industry.

 

Serena Taylor

 

 

What is your role at SHW? 

Senior Property Manager

 

How did you get into the industry?

I joined a local firm as an apprentice, carrying out administrative duties for the Block Management department.  A year or so later I was asked if I wanted to manage my own small portfolio, and then it went from there.

 

What are your favourite things about the industry? 

Every day is different. And the people you meet.

 

What advice would you give to a woman or anyone looking to get into the property industry? 

Be confident! 

 

Tarniah Thompson

 

 

What is your role at SHW?

Regional Facilities Manager.

 

What are your favourite things about the industry?  

What I love about the Facilities Management industry is the need to continuously develop and adapt to deliver an efficient service, which for me naturally creates variety and challenges.

 

And favourite things about your job?

Being able to drive positive change alongside the opportunity and the freedom at SHW to be creative with it!

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector?

Positively, I feel the industry has started championing women in the industry a lot more. However, providing an open platform alongside male counterparts working together to achieve a common goal would be beneficial as opposed to siloed women only working groups advocating women in FM/Property (which have their benefit!), but as an industry we need to show it in practice – actively demonstrating women in leadership roles to show there is a career path for women in FM/Property.

 

Flaminia Martin

 

 

What is your role at SHW?

IT Analyst

 

How did you get into the industry?

I have family in the same industry, and they are certainly advocates for property.

 

What are your favourite three things about the industry?

  • The multi-disciplinary nature of property is great because it encourages lots of different people to the firm. All disciplines interlink which means there’s lots of great collaboration.

  • It’s a sociable industry which always makes it more enjoyable.

  • You could argue, everyone needs and will likely always need property, so it feels like an industry that is sustainable and ever growing.

 

And favourite things about your job?

Getting to work with lots of different people across the firm. As someone from the IT Team, it’s been great to learn more about property.

 

What advice would you give to a woman - or anyone - looking to get into the property industry?

It goes back to the fact that it is so diverse in terms of disciplines, so it’s certainly an industry you can continue to progress and grow in.

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector?

I think property firms should do their best to highlight the work of women in property on a day-to-day basis via the platforms that will be seen by the future workforce.

Ensuring the industry has an understanding of when and how women decide upon a prospective career is crucial to working out how to encourage others. Engaging with existing women in the workforce, particularly those new to it, is a good start in finding out what enticed them in.

 

Debbie Marchant

 

 

What is your role at SHW? 

Office Team Administrator / reception

 

How did you get into the industry?

I knew of SHW as a well-established company. I did not have a property background but had a strong background in customer service.

 

What are your favourite three) things about the industry?

Seeing neglected sites and buildings being regenerated and new opportunities being made for businesses to bring a new feel to the area. And getting to know so many different people.

 

And favourite things about your job?

Being a first contact of many enquiries, it’s nice to speak to a wide variety of new people with a wide range of enquiries, its good when you are able to assist and get a problem solved, be it a property maintenance issue or connecting a prospective client with the right person to help them with their property needs.

 

What advice would you give to a woman - or anyone - looking to get into the property industry?

Enthusiasm and good communication skills are good qualities to have, and with our training programme, SHW can make your career work for you.

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector?

  • Hold ‘Bring your daughters to work days’

  • Maybe attend open days at career fairs

  • Be open to schools as part of their work experience programme

 

Agnieszka Kalita

 

 

What is your role at SHW?

I am Financial Controller.

 

How did you get into the industry?

As I am an accountant, in my case it was to be in a right place in a right time. I was finishing my ACCA qualifications, and I was looking to progress my career further. The role at SHW sounded like a good challenge and it is. I use my prior experience in the IT Industry, but I am also learning a lot about professional services and an LLP Partnership

 

What are your favourite things about the industry?

From professional point of view working for Partnership LLP is new experience and I enjoy the journey as there is a lot to learn. Personally, I am grateful for people I work with. Also, I recently become a homeowner and I am grateful that I am working with the experts that are willing share their knowledge with me and provide me with advice when I need it.

 

And favourite things about your job?

I like the challenge, career progression and support that is available to me. Also, appreciate work-life balance that I can maintain working for SHW. I am pleased I have good working relationships at SHW as that was always very important to me. Being surrounded by nice people keeps me motivated and content.

 

What advice would you give to a woman - or anyone - looking to get into the property industry?

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Change is good. If you are willing to learn you can count on the support of management and colleagues to guide you on the path of your progression. Stay positive. There are always good people out there.

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector?

I believe if industry would like to encourage more women into the sector, focusing on giving them right support in times when they need it most is a key. Work-life balance/flexible working/maternity leave(pay) for busy mums or/and providing women with clear career path.

 

Zoe Brown

 

 

What is your role at SHW?

Senior Planner.

 

How did you get into the industry?

I have always had an interest in property, particularly the way cities change, and undertook work experience in different property companies ranging from research, agency and planning.

 

After finishing my undergraduate degree in Geography, I decided to specialise further. I had really enjoyed working in planning during my work experience, therefore I decided to complete a masters in Spatial Planning at UCL. After finishing my studies, I worked in the public sector and more recently joined the private sector.

 

What are your favourite things about the industry?

The variety of work and projects that we are involved in.

 

And favourite things about your job?

Working in different project teams and being able see the final results of our work once the project has been built out. 

 

What advice would you give to a woman - or anyone - looking to get into the property industry?

To ask questions, to try different areas of the property industry and approach things with confidence.

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector?

Making women aware of the range of different jobs in the property industry that aren’t just a typical surveyors’ job.

 

Charlie Vince

 

 

What is your role at SHW?

HR Officer.

 

How did you get into the industry?

I was looking to develop my HR skills in a multidisciplinary practice.

 

What are your favourite things about the industry?

I like working for a professional company where everyone takes pride in their work.

I like that the company hold events for employees to participate in regularly.

I like how friendly and approachable everyone is.

 

And favourite things about your job?

I enjoy the team of people I work with and the variety within my role, as well as having the opportunity to liaise with many people across the firm.

 

What advice would you give to a woman - or anyone - looking to get into the property industry?

As a working mum, I would recommend the industry to women who are looking for a job with a good work/life balance.

 

What do you think the industry could do better to encourage more women into the sector?

To continue to try to promote the industry to students, from a young age. Female staff should attend career fairs and school career days.


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