Encouragement is key

Acknowledge your potential, instil courage and allow positive challenge and change. 

Marion Ellis is a chartered surveyor and customer experience specialist with over 20 years’ experience in the residential property sector. She set up Women in Surveying to bring together women within the surveying sector. With less than 14% of women in the industry it’s proved quite a talking point. So what can we learn from her story?

Marion spent nearly two decades working in the property sector and when she looked around her company for female role models they were in very short supply. She knew very little about other women surveyors and had lots of questions – such as what it was like going back to work after having children, how they juggled work and family, what they did when their inner critic was giving them a really hard time.

As she says, 'I didn’t know where female surveyors were – and when I found one I was too nervous to ask those questions. But I really wanted to hear their stories – and I wanted to share mine. Because being one of 14% can feel pretty lonely.'

So she set up Women in Surveying as a way to break the isolation and bring female surveyors together. It’s a place where they can share experiences – both good and bad – and give and receive advice and support. Earlier this year, Marion hosted a live virtual Sisterhood Summit where over the course of three weeks she talked to a whole host of female surveyors about everything from diversity and menopause to fashion, networking and career breaks. The video conversations were real, revelatory, honest and inspiring. The videos are available to watch free here

So what can each of us do? Make it your aim to support and encourage your female colleagues. There are many women’s organisations, groups and initiatives out there to help support you, provide advice and network, including our own facebook group 'Business Women With Impact'.  Do join our community of women who support and gain inspiration from each other, sharing stories and experiences of how confidence has been developed and ideas about how to overcome nerves. 

Joy Burnford