Franchised estate agency network Winkworth has published internal data about its gender balance in a bid to dispel the common perception that the industry is male dominated.
The company has revealed that the number of women applying to become franchisees has increase five-fold over the past five years, 24-hours ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8th.
Winkworth has also revealed that the number of female staff applying to join the overall business has increased by a third over the past two years and that a fifth of its franchisees are now women.
Interviews with female franchisees published by Winkworth highlight how women who join the network are motivated by the more flexible working arrangements of being a business owner compared to the more restrictive practices of their former employers.
“Unfortunately, the management I used to work under weren’t very lenient,” says Bath joint franchisee Lucy McIlroy (left).
“Now, working for myself means that I can be more flexible with both personal and professional matters.”
Nikki Kooner, joint franchisee at Winkworth Northampton, says: “As a mother to a six-year-old daughter, it’s important to me to be successful and independent. I want my daughter to look up at me and feel she can do it all too.”
The research from Winkworth reflects a common concern of those working within the sector; that its hours and structure are not sympathetic to the demands of modern family life.
“It’s widely perceived that the property industry is male-dominated, however it’s always been important for us to ensure we have a diverse range of franchisees on board,” says Dominic Agace, CEO of Winkworth.