International Women’s Day 2021 is here, this year on Monday 8th March. After a somewhat chaotic 2020 with the impact of the coronavirus, the theme of this year’s IWD is #choosetochallenge. A challenged world is an alert world, one that is ready to change and adapt. As individuals we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions and as part of that we can choose to make a difference every day calling out gender bias and inequality. We can also choose to celebrate women’s achievements in overcoming this inequality and create an inclusive world for all. As the IWD committee comments ‘From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.’
At JOHNS&CO we are keen to champion women in every department, at every age, and throughout every moment of their career here. As a company we are officially 50% women and 50% men, something which we are exceptionally proud of. In our Senior Leadership Team we have four female directors and five male directors paving the way for a 50/50 split soon.
Elsewhere we have a leading maternity policy and we also offer sabbaticals for women (and men) to explore hobbies and passions whilst knowing they have a stable and supportive job to return to.
The rest of the property industry is not as supportive however, with an average industry pay gap of 11.9% and men making up on average 58% of all estate agents and 77% of men making up all senior positions. Without naming and shaming, certain estate agents in the UK are operating at a staggering 46% gender pay gap, which has to change immediately if there is to be true equality in property.
This year for IWD we’ve decided to speak to women in the business to see what their experience in the property industry has been like and how they feel it has changed for the better. Take it away ladies!
New Business Manager – West London
It’s not easy being a working mother, but at JOHNS&CO I feel comfortable and confident knowing that they see the picture. During my first pregnancy JOHNS&CO were incredibly supportive with all of my hospital appointments, having to have scans every two weeks they were always very accommodating. I’m now about to have baby number two and looking forward to returning to my position after maternity leave.
Client Services Director
I have always been in awe of the female leaders surrounding me. Initially, I put them on a pedestal and admired from a distance. Now I work alongside them and it’s humbling to realise they are just like you. No single woman is better than any other but those who listen to their intuition, empower others and consistently seek personal growth will naturally work their way up the property ‘leadership’ ladder.
Head of Property Management
I started in property at the deep end! Two days after my 16th birthday I started working full time for the Kensington & Chelsea Building Control. My employment lasted eight years and only came to an end when I had my second son. After enrolling on a child minding course and football coaching I had a further two children and was fortunate to meet a property developer looking for a PA whilst I was at a football training session with my two boys. My role was mainly PA however my boss owned various properties which I then managed and that is how my journey into property management started. I stayed in this role for years until I then joined an estate agent where my role was simply PM. From there I was referred to another local agent. I left as Head of Property Management and joined a management company where I was Operations Director and from there back to a Property Management role with JOHNS&CO.
I feel extremely lucky. All of my roles have been long term and I have never faced any discrimination along the way. I have worked with both men and women alike who have all been extremely supportive considering I had four young children during most of my employment journey. I would advise any woman thinking of joining property to just do it! Ignore the rumours, there is a lot of support for women out there, you just have to find the right agency that works for you!
Content Marketing Executive
Starting in property straight out of university as a shy and naïve 21 year-old was a baptism of fire. I only really thought property was sales and lettings and none of the huge jigsaw puzzle of people that make it happen. Thrown into an all-male office as the admin I was initially a bit shocked at the lifestyle, habits and so-called ‘banter’ of these men. However, after a few months of a strong, independent women in their office they changed their ways! I had never even thought of marketing as a career in property, but after writing emails and newsletters for my old company I realised this actually could be a rewarding career. Moving to JOHNS&CO I found my place in the marketing team and I’ve loved being able to grow my passions in content. I have three things I would say to all women starting out in property.
- Not all agencies are the same and you are not a tree with roots – you can move if you’re not happy
- Don’t be afraid to call out anything unacceptable, women should have a voice and not be afraid to use it, don’t be intimidated if a man calls you sensitive, outspoken, bossy, not feminine, they can have a voice but it doesn’t mean it’s right
- You do not have to stay in one area, think big, dream big and don’t let anyone (including men) tell you that you don’t have a place in a given situation (because you always do)
We’d love to hear from you! what have you experiences been working in the property sector as a woman? Have you found the comments above to be true? Or have you had other experiences you’re willing to share? Let us know!
If you’re thinking of joining the exciting, fast-paced and ever-changing world of property then we’d love to hear from you! We are always looking for strong-minded individuals who are ready to work hard, play hard and consistently challenge societal norms. You can find all of our current vacancies here but don’t be afraid to get in contact if you don’t see your dream job there!