To commemorate the International Women’s Day, we are featuring women who have made notable contributions in their respective industries. We aim to explore the tenacity of each and discover how they pushed boundaries to rise to the top.
What does the 2022 International Women’s Day slogan, #BreaktheBias mean for you in your work life?
At Savills, the aim is to create an environment where female employees can thrive, by not only belonging but by leading a path to success. Commercial real estate has previously been dominated by males; however, we encourage a changing landscape and work towards achieving equal representation for men and women, where their growth and expertise can be equally fostered. We understand that by underutilising women at work, there is a possibility to miss out on profits and growth opportunities.
With regards to the slogan #BreaktheBias, to me, it means supporting women actively and mentoring them so that they can secure varied senior roles. It is to build a foundation that creates an environment where we want to see each other succeed.
What is the main challenge that you’ve faced as a woman in your industry?
The real estate industry has remained male dominant for many generations; it is fast growing to become a more organised sector, creating opportunities for women to play integral senior roles. The real estate sector is very demanding and often requires a great deal of commitment; late-night viewings, long hours, and weekends are all a part of the job. However, a major part of success is standing out, and one way to do that is to highlight the qualities woman bring to the table where we tend to be strong communicators, thoughtful strategists and highly organised – all of which are desirable and advantageous in any organisation and industry.
What has been the most empowering moment in your career?
I have been working in the industry for several years. I have had to learn and adapt very quickly as this industry is highly competitive and I realised that with the right attitude and positive mindset I could achieve my goals. I also attribute this to a great team who believed in me and helped me navigate different aspects of the real estate market offering sound advice. With these efforts I have managed to achieve the leasing quotas set ahead of me.
Post pandemic, we faced several obstacles within the commercial real estate as we saw a change in demand and space requirements with remote working being adapted within business. However, with constant follow-ups and intense negotiations, and sound relationships, I have managed to lease out thousands of square meters of office space to several ‘blue-chip’ organisations.
For our retail clients we have successfully onboarded local and international brands with some exciting tenants to be announced currently in our pipeline.
Which powerful woman do you admire the most and why?
Indra Nooyi, former chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo. Her rise from a very humble background in India to a globally recognised leader at PepsiCo is extremely inspiring. Her courage to speak up at work, her confidence, and risk-taking skills to innovate and implement are admirable.
Do you have any advice for women wanting to start their own business or work their way up the ladder?
It is a known fact that a diverse workforce can help drive innovation, creativity, and productivity. Women looking to build careers in the real estate industry will need to understand their core competencies and set clear parameters to work towards their professional goals. It is vital to build a strong client network and keep up with the knowledge and trends in the market.
Also, it is important to be confident, take risks, speak up and share your ideas with the team. It is crucial to have the right attitude and be self-motivated and determined.
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
Self-promotion is key for women who want to get noticed at their workplace. Many women feel uncomfortable speaking about their accomplishments; however, women shouldn’t shy away from talking to their colleagues about their upcoming projects, obstacles faced, and overall value generated in the organisation.
Young women are eager to prove themselves by taking on multiple tasks. It is necessary for them to learn to prioritise and make strategic choices that will help them focus and work towards their career growth in the long term.