In this event, RE:WOMEN welcomed Ainslie McLennan from TH Real Estate and Dr Clare Eriksson from RICS to help us celebrate International Women’s Day. The event was kindly hosted by BNP Paribas Real Estate in the City where members of MixCity networking group also attended. The beautiful canapes, ambiance and views over The Shard and St Pauls truly gave the event an exclusive and special atmosphere.
Paul Abrey, Executive Director, Head of Consulting & Real Estate Diversity Council Member at BNP Paribas Real Estate and Marianne Kwong, Associate Director at BNP Paribas Real Estate and Event’s Chair, opened the event with a brief introduction, opening the floor to Ainslie McLennan and Clare Eriksson.
Ainslie and Clare discussed their careers and opinions on how to excel in one’s career, discussing hurdles that they had overcome, and turning points which sparked new directions in their career. Highlights included Ainslie’s feeling that for women to progress, it is essential to have the right manager to support, assist and encourage you up the career ladder. Additionally, support from mentors can also bolster confidence and help pave the way for progression. As women, it is important to stand your ground and be confident in our ideas, and this can also help to increase credibility with peers. If you are not sure that you are in the right career, take a break and do something else whilst you decide on what career path you want to take. For Ainslie, this break was essential in helping her decide to move from Edinburgh to London which opened up the opportunity to move client-side and was a pivotal turning point in determining the direction her career took. Clare was an advocate of applying for promotions early on in her career, and creating opportunities for yourself through establishing as wide a network as possible and not holding back in putting yourself forward. The worst anyone can say is “no”, and the benefits gained from putting yourself forward far outweigh any possible rejection.
Both Ainslie and Clare were advocates of women empowering other women. Both commented on how having financial security can open up so many other opportunities for us, gives us choices and enables us to maintain independence and continue to progress in their careers even when having children. Women need to find their own management style and not feel they have to “be” a certain way or try to emulate men – it may take time and some trial and error, but if you maintain confidence in yourself, you will get there.
The event was followed by questions from the audience and more drinks, canapes and networking afterwards. “Be Bold For Change” was an apt theme of the talks as the general feeling was that we can shape and change the inequality in many work places if we have the confidence to take positive action and help other women. The speakers inspired and pinpointed feelings that as females, many of us have encountered at times during our careers. It was a true celebration of women’s independence and a fantastic way to honour International Women’s Day.