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IWD: Celebrating the powerful women at flatfair

Int Womens Day Blog Post

As part of our International Women’s Day (IWD) series, we have been speaking to inspirational women across the property industry to understand the progress made towards gender equity and the key hurdles that women continue to face in the industry.

In our final blog, we spoke with two powerful women at flatfair, Annalese and Sharan, who are part of our leadership team, which is proudly bucking the industry trend, with just more than 50% of senior positions held by women. They share their personal views on what IWD means to them, the steps needed to continue to move the industry forward and to create an equal workplace for all.
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Annalese Walmsley, Commercial Director

“For me, IWD is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing women in my personal and professional life who inspire me by rising through the ranks, going solo, and standing up for their beliefs.

As a woman in a senior position within a very male-dominated industry, and as a mother to two daughters, it is important to me that women are treated equally, equitably and given the same rights, pay and growth opportunities as anyone else.

Although progress has been made in the property industry, it remains slow. Women are paid a third less than men, and before joining flatfair, I saw people passed over for promotions based solely on their gender. Despite seeing more women in senior positions, many have had to sacrifice other areas of their lives to succeed in their careers.

I am fortunate enough to have a husband who supports me both personally and professionally. When my youngest daughter was born, we took shared parental leave. Despite criticism, I believe that women should not always be the ones putting their careers on hold to have a family. My husband did an equal, if not better job, than me as a stay-at-home parent.

To continue to move the industry forward, businesses need to mentor women for leadership roles and promote from within. At flatfair, I’m surrounded by inspiring women and have helped other women develop their career in property. It’s great to have a platform to celebrate these women on IWD.”
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Sharan Minhas, Product Manager

“At work, IWD means acknowledging progress and identifying areas for improvement in providing equal opportunities for women. Let’s celebrate our achievements while addressing unresolved issues.

IWD should also recognise the unpaid work that women do – housework, childcare, and cooking. Women often carry the burden of this unpaid work, but it is often unappreciated and unrecognised. There is a need to rebalance the roles and responsibilities in running a household, which is a complex issue. Although there is no one clear-cut way that will work for everyone, achieving a better balance between work and home responsibilities is necessary.

Although I have not felt directly disadvantaged as a woman in my work environments, I am still learning to ask for help when I need it. This can be difficult for me because it feels like a failure. However, changing this mindset is crucial as I take on more responsibilities in different stages of life.

More people are aware of gender discrimination at work and willing to speak up. Being open to discussion and not getting defensive or aggressive is important for creating a learning environment. We need more dialogue around challenges faced by women as leaders or entrepreneurs, such as salary discrimination, maternity leave penalties, and microaggressions. Everyone should take responsibility for ensuring more equitable and equal workplaces for everyone, regardless of gender.”

We’d like to thank Sharan and Annalese for sharing their experiences with us. It’s inspiring to hear the growing impact that IWD is having on their lives and the women around them.

Check out the other blogs in our IWD series, where we discuss some of the major hurdles that women face in the property industry, including motherhood and imposter syndrome.