Having written this last week, I decided to re-write it as it didn’t feel right to write it without a nod to the crazy week that we have just experienced as Women. The tragic news of Sarah Everard has led to many conversations between my female family and friends and has got me thinking. Are all of those things that women do to feel safe, perhaps not even thinking about them, are they also things that are so ingrained in us when it comes to applying jobs, unlike our male counterparts?
There is no doubt that this is the case. You may have heard the following statistic: men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. Anecdotally, I’ve experienced this first hand, persuading fellow women that they are more capable (and often more qualified) than other applicants to at least apply is one of the harder aspects of my role. How can we encourage women to make the move and step up in their career at the same rate as men?
Many companies have introduced schemes to improve their gender balance and I feel encouraged that as a sector, PropTech are some of the leaders in this regard. However, they are fighting an uphill battle as there is a smaller pool of female talent in Real Estate from which to recruit from. So how can we implement change? I was recently talking to the UK Women in PropTech group where we discussed this at length. We came to the conclusion that we need to be doing more at an education level. Speaking to students about the wide range of opportunities there are in Real Estate. As a result, LMRE are coordinating conversations with those hosting the courses (undergrad & further education), as well as the students and grads to push awareness and the requisition of diversity and inclusion throughout the sector from their commencement into the industry. We want to be able to facilitate a degree of change, encouraging those who are interested in applying and ultimately break down any barriers that stand in the way for people who see it being out of their reach.
At LMRE I am lucky to be surrounded by a strong female team, that are not only showing how women can do it but also the support we give one another. This made me think that maybe what is needed is support between females, no matter at what level within a male dominated environment. I have been lucky to have not only be surrounded with strong females in my personal life, but also throughout my career. Something that I feel has been an important part of my career growth.
With that in mind, I am going to actively start mentoring (those that want to be!) and if anyone has any thoughts on how I can facilitate this, please reach out firstname.lastname@example.org
By Lucy Wright, Head of UK