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March 8, 2018

International Woman’s Day

Georgina Clarke, Pimlico Lettings Director

Georgina Clarke, our Pimlico Lettings Director, discusses International Women’s Day 2018 and the inspiring event she attended to mark the occasion:

On the 8th March I was delighted to attend a panel discussion hosted by the Victoria BID at the St. James’s Court Taj Hotel. The panel, hosted by journalist and author Radhika Sanghani, comprised high profile business women working in the local area including; Susan Place Everhart; COO for Orchid Project; Justine Brown, HC Director for DP World; Susan Belchar, Associate Hospital Manager for North East London Foundation Trust; and Clare Fone, Founder Westminster Physiotherapy and Pilates Centre.

The discussion revolved around the biggest changes for woman in the last 100 years and what we can expect to see in the next 100 years. It was a positive and uplifting debate with particular emphasis on how far society and woman’s rights have come since our grandmothers’ days. All panellists are successful business women and mothers and accepted that there are still difficulties and sacrifices to be made. However, all were in agreement that the barriers have been removed and that there are opportunities for hardworking women who want to achieve success in their field. It was also noted that rights for fathers in the workplace have also been achieved and that all success is about good support and good partnerships, however that is achieved on a professional and personal level.

So what do women bring to the workplace? One member of the panel suggested that women bring ‘empathy and intuition’ and ‘that differences should be celebrated on an equal platform’. Undeniably, men and woman are different, so it was felt that quotas for equal representation cannot work, because ultimately you need to employ the best person for the job…and it was suggested that sometimes the Board would be better off with 100% women! And what about the gender pay gap? A topic for some ongoing debate, no doubt.

What advice do these phenomenal women of Victoria give to us? Clare of WPPC said we are all aiming for a happy and healthy life and that our personal well-being, both emotionally and physically, is paramount. Stick to your core values and recruit to these core values and behaviours. Clare had overcome many professional hurdles in doing so. Justine advised us to ‘work hard but don’t work late’, ‘take on every challenge’, ‘don’t say no, but get organised’. Susan of Orchid said that ‘every woman has the right to make their own choices’ whatever they may be, and that even having a career break doesn’t stop you from achieving your goals; also, ‘you can’t have it all, all at the same time, all of the time.’ And  Susan Belchar stated that ‘we need good education.’ It was concluded that we need cultural awareness, good communication and understanding in the workplace.

Working as a senior Director at Jackson-Stops within the Lettings industry as I do, I feel there has been a noticeable shift in gender-typical roles. Lettings has predominantly been dominated by female employees throughout the eighteen years of my career, but I have seen a significant increase in male recruitment and managers as the job is increasingly recognised, in London at least, as a sound professional career path. With more and more legislation and relevant expertise and being required, this is no longer a back office ‘female’ administrative role and, in many estate agencies, lettings is taking the lead in terms of income. I am delighted to say that Jackson-Stops has a balanced, professional workforce and has succeeded by sticking to its core values and ethos, remaining a supportive and nurturing employer. Companies that look after their people look after their clients!

International Men’s Day is on 19th December!