Emma Blaney, Founding Member and Founder of Productive Property People, writes about the additional difficulties faced by young women in property and how to tackle sexism and ageism head on. Authored by Emma Blaney.
It is no secret that one of the main motivators for setting up Doyenne was to support women and to help them achieve. Women in senior positions in our sector are in the minority, but this is even more true for young women. In a such a male dominated industry it can be even harder for younger women, or at least women who look younger, to establish a presence and gain their deserved respect.
But is being young a bad thing? In a time where the landscape of technology and communication is developing day by day, and the latest hot topic is ‘working with millennials’, young people can bring some much-needed insight to the table. The leasehold sector is changing, our client and customer bases are getting younger and the demands to deliver service in an instant are increasing. Having a young person who can understand and relate to these shifts surely cannot be a bad thing.
The question is, how do you gain the respect to get there in the first place? Well one big roadblock is employers. Employers need to recognise that young of years does not equal lack of knowledge or understanding. To use a pertinent quote ‘If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got’. This couldn’t be truer for hiring staff. If you look only to those that have decades of experience in senior positions then the view is bound to be more blinkered. What worked before will work again, but will it be innovative? Will it be substantially different to raise standards and increase presence?
The second thing when it comes to being a young woman in property is confidence. Being young doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve to be recognised for what you have achieved. There are plenty of younger people that have far exceeded the successes of their elders through innovative technologies or just simply by bringing a fresh perspective. Why should our young women be any different? Yes, of course, there will be the odd person that still calls you a ‘girl’ and can demean your entire career, all your knowledge and skill and everything you have worked so hard for into one sad sorry word. However, being confident isn’t about consistent praise. It is about recognising what you have achieved personally and knowing that you deserve every opportunity that comes your way. Studies have shown that confidence breeds more success than talent so remember head up high and whatever you say, say it with conviction.
Finally, when it comes to gaining respect, make sure you have a great support network. Although this is a vast industry it is small and having the right people around you to guide you through and help you along the way is a must. For those of you that have been to our events before we hope you have managed to develop and grow your network through them. For those of you that haven’t been then please do come along to our next event. Doyenne isn’t about business, it is about networking with inspiring and supportive women who collectively want to see women thrive across our sector.
So, the only question that remains is- if young women are the next generation of industry leaders why wouldn’t you want to be one?