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International Women’s Day – let’s hear it for (and from) the women in property!

Today is International Women's Day and The Negotiator has invited two leading organisations to showcase their female talent who are driving the businesses of Propertymark and Nurtur.group.

The Negotiator
The women of Propertymark

“Propertymark, the industry’s foremost body is celebrating female leadership inside and out. From its Chair, Nicky Heathcote and two female Presidents, Liana Loporto-Browne and Maxine Fothergill, to behind the doors at its office in Warwick.”

“With over 65 per cent of staff being female within Propertymark and the majority of senior roles held by women, the body has revealed the career progress stories and the faces of just some of its female driving force who have helped transform the trade body and are making strides in forming its future.”

Rachel Hartley – Marketing and Communications Manager
Rachel works with her team to deliver Propertymark’s marketing function and its subsidiary company Propertymark Qualifications.

Whilst at Propertymark, Rachel has successfully shaped Right to Rent checks by representing agents on a ministerial panel, delivered the transition to unite five separate associations under one successful Propertymark brand and changed its member communications from being an add on, to now being the most trusted source to support members’ practice.

Rachel’s first job as a teen was in a deli doing everything from making pate to cleaning the ovens and says she loved the early morning shifts when everything was fresh and well stocked and learnt some valuable foodie tricks at an early age. When asked what she thinks would act as a piece of advice for women on their career journey’s she said, “keep things in proportion. Some errors can seem really important at the time but pale into insignificance – it all teaches you invaluable experience to draw on.”

Sue Roberts-Smith – Head of Operations
Sue is responsible for a number of areas within Propertymark and leads on transformational projects. She also works as part of the senior leadership team working closely with Nathan Emerson, CEO.

She’s been at the forefront of successes within Propertymark and has worked in collaboration with staff to complete a full IT transformation including Propertymark’s membership database and new website and successfully moved all staff to home working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked what advice she would give to her younger self and others, she said “take every opportunity to learn and grow and do not suffer from imposter syndrome. Take confidence in your ability and try your best, it will not always go according to plan, but resilience and commitment will shine through and make you a stronger person. Be kind and believe in yourself.”

Resilience and commitment will shine through and make you a stronger person.” – Sue Roberts-Smith

Flick Humphrey – Public Relations, Press and Media Manager
Flick manages Propertymark’s Press Team and works closely with its Policy and Marketing teams to make sure its messages get to the right people.

After leaving education, her first job was as a sales negotiator in a Cotswold Estate Agents before leaving to work in social housing.

Flick has successfully built an in-house Public Relations Team at Propertymark. She previously ran the Public Relations department at a membership body, lobbying for rural issues and working alongside civil servants and Ministers within Defra.

Flick’s advice to others is “Don’t self-reject.” She referred to a study which found women are less likely than men to apply for a role they are not fully confident doing. She said, “By self-rejecting we censor our opportunities. Be brave and put your hat in the ring.”

By self-rejecting we censor our opportunities. Be brave and put your hat in the ring.” – Flick Humphrey

Nicky Heathcote, Executive Chair, Propertymark comments, “Propertymark is proud to have so many talented women within our organisation, working hard on behalf of our membership and putting members into the heart of everything we do. International Women’s Day reminds us that talent, skill, and ambition is within us all and having a diverse workforce and membership makes us strong.”

The women of Nurtur.group

“International Women’s Day is pushing globally for gender parity and celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

“In a traditionally male-dominated industry, we are proud to have so many determined and inspiring females within nurtur.group. Women in senior roles who are making their mark in the sector and are instrumental in driving change within the property industry.

“We wanted to celebrate some of our wonderful female business leaders, entrepreneurs, partners and directors within nurtur.group and thank them for their continued contribution to ensuring our organisation is inclusive and supportive of, not just women, but everyone.”

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director at Fine & Country UK, kicked International Women’s Day off by encouraging other women in the industry to have confidence in their ability. “It is important for women to believe in themselves. One of the best lessons I have learnt in my career is to have self-belief and a positive mindset. In the early stages of my career, there were multiple times when a mentor encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself in my career because they believed in me and what I was capable of, even when I wasn’t sure. It is that encouragement and belief that has kept me moving forward. I am very grateful to have had amazing men and women who I would class as mentors in my career, people who have shaped and helped my career to develop since starting in the property industry back in 2003.

As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I want to be an example and encourage other women.” – Nicky Stevenson

“As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I want to be an example and encourage other women to achieve things they might not have thought they could, helping to instil both confidence and a positive mindset. If I can help other women progress their career within the property sector, then I am delighted to do so. We are seeing more and more women breaking into the upper ranks of the industry, which is fantastic to see. It is important for younger woman coming into the industry to have strong female role models.”

Lucie Heanley, Chief Knowledge Officer, Nurtur.group, said: “It’s a day where we celebrate together the contribution women bring to society, recognising those women who rewrote history for us and for generations of women to come. We must continue to honour the contributions of women, in all sectors and industries, so that there are examples of role models providing a trailblaze for the younger generation to step into and pursue their greatness with confidence.”

She adds, personally, I strive to be my best every day and to be a role model for those young ‘sponges’ around me while they find their feet in this ever-changing world. However, this wouldn’t be possible without the many great female figures I have around me, supporting, listening, and championing. I always think that a woman alone has power, collectively we have impact.”

I always think that a woman alone has power, collectively we have impact.” – Lucie Heanley

Emilie Despois, Chief Marketing Officer, Nurtur.group said; “I feel privileged to have been born, raised and now working in part of the world where women can have the same career as men. Women before me have fought hard to give women equal rights to men. There are still some inequalities and there will always be things that will set men and women apart. But these challenges can be overcome if you have integrity and believe in yourself and your abilities. I have been raised by strong women in my family who taught me that nothing is impossible, and I believe this to be true. If you set your mind to it, you can achieve anything. But I am one of the lucky ones who can speak their mind in a safe environment.

“International Women’s Day for me is a day to celebrate the women who have fought to give women a voice and support the women who are still fighting for equal rights. To these women, you are allowing the next generation to live a better life and I will forever admire you.”

It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, and fearlessness to stand up and be a woman in power, especially in a male dominated industry.” – Phillipa Legg

Phillipa Legg, Chief Operating Officer, Nurtur.group: “Michelle Obama’s quote: ‘There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish’, really resonates with me when I think about International Women’s Day. I have always focused on what I have personally wanted to achieve, and I am very lucky to have been supported by some extremely influential figures. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, and fearlessness to stand up and be a woman in power, especially in a male dominated industry. But for me, it is not about celebrating women once a year; as women in power, we are strongest when we cheer each other on, and I think the importance of supporting each other and continuing to change the way the world perceives women’s strength every day is how we inspire the next generation.”

Kim Rush, Group Operations Manager, Nurtur.group, said: “For me personally, I see International Women’s Day as a day to celebrate just how incredibly far we have come in the battle of gender equality. Changing how a woman’s value is perceived, particularly when it comes to decision making and job roles / positions of power, is so important. Gender does not determine a person’s capabilities. I particularly like the quote: ‘There’s nothing a man can do that I can’t do better and in heels.’ – Ginger Rogers.”

International Women’s Day as a day to celebrate just how incredibly far we have come in the battle of gender equality.” – Kim Rush.

She continues: “In recent years, I’ve had the privilege of working under two particularly incredible women in our industry; Phillipa Legg (our group COO) and Nicky Stevenson (MD of Fine & Country). It’s so refreshing to work under women in roles of power and decision making, especially in this ‘male heavy’ industry. For me, these fearless, intelligent, professional but also kind and caring women, are my role models who I look up to. They remind me daily why I should always aim higher and demonstrate exactly why there should be no divide, when it comes to men/women, at the top of our hierarchies.”

Jennifer Scott-Reid, Chief People and Development Officer, Nurtur.group, comments: “What does International Women’s Day mean to me? Well not only has it been celebrated every year since 1911 (over 100 years) and gives an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women around the world. It’s also important that women in power inspire and encourage young women to climb the ladder of success and make the sky their limit.”

Inspiring messages indeed from some leading women in property. Happy International Women’s Day!

March 8, 2022

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