Walking along the Croisette in Cannes during MIPIM is one of the easiest times to see the lack of gender diversity in the property industry. As the industry gathers to do business in the sunshine, it is the men in suits that dominate the seafront restaurants and the sidewalk bars.
That vista across the streets of Cannes should bring home to female professionals that, as a smaller proportion of the experts working in the industry, it is even more important to ensure that visibility counts.
At Women Talk Real Estate, we believe that one of the best ways we can do this is to use the stage at industry events and the media to raise the profile of our female experts.
Currently, around 14% of speakers at events are female. We think this doesn’t truly showcase the expertise of female professionals, or reflect the diversity of the industry we want going forward.
As we get more female experts on stage, it will have both an individual benefit and a collective one. For the individual, being on stage and in the media gets female professionals and their expertise recognised and can lead to better business opportunities and career progression.
For the representation of women overall, the visibility challenges stereotypes about what women do in the industry and it also provides more role models for younger generations.
We know that there is a strong universe of female experts to help stage diverse events so we are working with them and event organisers to make sure the two connect. We have a database of female professionals that are keen to speak at events and this is accessed by event organisers and the media.
Our database currently has more than 300 female professionals registered and we have seen invitations extended to 65 potential speakers in our first couple of months of being up and running.
We know that we can’t change the representation of women in our industry overnight but we believe that because visibility matters, practical initiatives such as Women Talk Real Estate can make a positive contribution.
If you are a female professional in our industry, register to join our database or get in touch to find out more.
Andrea Carpenter is a Director of Women Talk Real Estate www.womentalkrealestate.org