‘The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.’ – International Women’s Day website
We believe balance is key to any project, and that starts with the first steps within the office. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we spoke to the women working behind the scenes at Alumno about what it’s like to be a modern women working within the property and development industry.
As the newest member of the Alumno family, Michelle joins us as a development manager. With a degree in Architecture under her belt and also specializing in interior design, Michelle has already proven to be a force of nature taking her projects to the next level. We can’t wait to see what she can achieve.
‘100 boards comprise of 28% (1 in 4) female members. This has significantly increased in the last eight years with 2010’s figure sitting at 12.5% but the construction industry is still playing catch up with other sectors. I hope women continue to strive, and not to be held back by their male counterparts, however I do feel there is a long way to go within the construction industry.
Rebecca has been with Alumno almost since the beginning, as office manager, Rebecca has seen the many changes as the company has grown over the years. Graduating from Law in Leeds and her many roles in the creative arts, has helped her manage the office and contribute to the developments. She is the teams go to, keeping everyone organised and balanced. Thinking about International Womens` Day, Rebecca was looking to the next generation…
‘I currently have two teenage sons in training at home – for putting towels on the rail; not on the floor, dirty clothes in the washing basket and how they wash up. I like to think of it as ‘improving or even influencing the next generation. Not just at home, but also in the office, it’s a balancing act I find, when to step in and when to let them go alone. We have come so far in such a short amount of time, and this is something to celebrate – we still have a long way to go – Read here about working women and housework.
With a varied career and a zest for the arts, Natalie has been an inspiration within the team. With a few years under her belt at Alumno, Natalie has used her entrepreneurial skills and her experience to drive her projects from start to finish. As a development manager, she has always kept her cool, shown resilience and has managed the balancing act in everything that she has achieved so far.
‘With skills shortages in the construction industry becoming even more of a problem and with the industry being made up of 89% men, it is now more important than even to encourage women to join the construction industry. As a sweeping generalization, women are natural multi-taskers, understanding and empathetic which are all key skills to developing a successful career in property and construction. It is an incredibly rewarding and varied career and we need to start with increasing awareness of the positive way that women can re-balance the work force. How we do this is the question, but there needs to be a combination of education, increased apprentices and top down change from business leaders.’
The youngest in the office, Catherine joined us last September in a completely new role. With a diploma in photography and a varied background, she works alongside the team in every stage. Along with Rebecca, Catherine has helped to maintain balance within the office and has been fresh joy for the team.
‘This whole experience is completely new to me, my background is retail, hospitality, travel and photography. Being in property has pushed my skills in ways I didn’t think about. I am surrounded by these amazing women every day, and I am learning so much. There is a good balance in this office, compared to what I have done before. I defiantly feel more appreciated and my voice is getting heard. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a fair way to go when it comes to equality and being a women. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’, this to me is why women in all walks of life, want and fight for equality’.
Happy International Womens’ Day from the team at Alumno!