INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY (IWD) 2023
The theme for this year’s IWD is #EmbraceEquity. The official website for IWD sets out the difference between equity and equality. Equity is the journey of creating an inclusive world which embraces diversity and inclusion, and through equity we can reach the end goal of equality.
Women represent Asteer in many different roles and levels across the business and we are committed to supporting each one of them in achieving their goals and aspirations. Given Tuesday 8 March is International Women’s Day, we thought it prudent to celebrate these strong and inspirational women.
We managed to grab a few minutes with each of them to ask them a question about their experiences and aspirations in planning / property.
What advice would you give to your younger self prior to starting your career?
“I would tell myself to be open to new opportunities, to challenge all gender-based assumptions about possible careers and not to be afraid to take chances. I’d also say to choose influences and influencers carefully by seeking out people, such as female role models, from whom you can learn and who want to help you realise your potential.” – Georgina Blackburn, Planner
What are your future goals?
“I would hope that through my own experiences I can support and inspire women at Asteer and the wider planning/property sector to command senior positions and be represented at the top table, because women are great at making difficult decisions and offer something different to that process. I also fully acknowledge that not everyone wants to be in senior roles and those women are equally as inspirational and important to any business, but for anyone that does, I truly believe that you can achieve it. Taking opportunities, hard work and determination will get you there and gender certainly should not hold you back! It would give me great satisfaction and pride if 50% or more of our senior advisors were women and at Asteer we certainly have the talent to achieve that”. – Alice Routledge, Partner
Why do we need more women in leadership roles?
“There are many advantages to having women in leadership roles, the most obvious being diversity and filling the gender gap – which is still huge – but they can also offer a different perspective and bring different abilities to the role. I once attended a Women in Property event where the key note speaker talked about women benefiting from softer skills; traits such as empathy, communication and listening. And instead of being seen as weaknesses these can be hugely beneficial to leadership roles as they encourage collaboration and teamwork, helping to deliver the most effective course of action.” Anna Ellam, Office Manager
How did you start your career in planning?
“When I graduated from my undergraduate degree in Geography, I surprisingly knew very little about planning as a career. After a year working in a completely different industry, I learnt more about planning through a close friend and decided that it would be a perfect opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge I had gained from my geography degree and pursue a career with great prospects for progression. I moved to Manchester to complete my Masters course and have never looked back! Having not come from a property / planning background, I am proud of how I have navigated this traditionally male-dominated industry to date. This has been helped massively by the support of my colleagues and other women who we work alongside daily who consistently encourage and inspire me to reach my full potential.” – Alice Henderson, Senior Planner
How should the planning / property sectors ensure inclusion for women?
“Providing the right working environment for individuals to grow and flourish will help develop and retain women in the workforce and build representation at the top level. Creating clear and defined promotion pathways, supporting flexible working arrangements and promoting investment in childcare infrastructure will help level the playing field. A diverse workforce is not just a matter of social justice and equality, but one of economic growth and we need to bring the economic value of a diverse sector to the forefront of discussions” – Charlotte Fowler, Consultant