International Women’s Day is often the great annual reminder to recognise just how far we have come in the property sector

Helen Jude, Partner and Head of Recovery & Valuation at Landwood Group and a member of the International Women’s Insolvency and Reconstruction Confederation (IWIRC) shares her insights on the essential strategies for female advancement in the sector

Throughout my career in property I have been dedicated to improving equality, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

Working at Landwood I am able to implement my expertise into valuations, recovery and maximising assets, all while developing policies that help all staff, regardless of gender, feel supported and able to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

I feel passionate about breaking the bias of female leaders in property and take pride in helping build a largely female leadership team at Landwood.

This year’s theme of Inspiring Inclusion provides an ideal platform to showcase the strategies that have empowered our team of resilient female leaders to thrive alongside our male counterparts.

Some of these include:

Gender split 

One of the biggest challenges in gender disparity is promoting females into senior leadership and directory positions.

At Landwood, we proudly boast a predominantly female-led team, comprising 65% women and 35% men with two dynamic women among the five partners who own our company. 

We have long implemented bias-free recruitment practices to ensure we are recruiting the right personnel, regardless of their gender, as well as provide leadership development programs and development opportunities to consistently reward and equally promote our female staff.

By implementing these practices effectively, we have cultivated a diverse array of female voices and ideas at board level.

Flexible working

Flexible working has been something we have trusted our staff with long before covid. It not only promotes a healthy work-life balance for all staff, but also enables parents the flexibility to work to a high standard while feeling able to support family needs.

This means we trust all staff – regardless of age or gender – to deliver their best work while enjoying the flexibility to attend a 5:00pm gym class, catch an early weekend train to see family, or leave at 3:30pm for school pick-up, without sacrificing their career progress.

Staff menopause policy

Menopausal symptoms are often overlooked in the workplace, leaving many women struggling to perform at their best.

This can range from lower concentration, tiredness, poor memory, feeling low/depressed and lowered confidence. This is joined by hot flushes which exacerbate these challenges, especially in the workplace and are known to contribute to women’s desire to exit it.

Recognising this we have implemented a staff menopause policy which provides our female team members the autonomy to adjust their working conditions to accommodate their needs during menopause.

This includes flexibility in working hours and allowing work-from-home options.

We’ve found that this approach not only helps retain our experienced female colleagues but also communicates to our colleagues of all ages how much we care about inclusivity and equal opportunities.

While our company has made significant progress, it’s crucial that our policies become standard in the property industry to address gender disparity. 

There’s still much to be done across the industry to disrupt its traditionally male-dominated nature. This International Women’s Day, we urge the industry to adopt higher standards, making female-friendly policies the norm to #InspireInclusion .