Following our pledge for parity in 2017, we asked women in leadership within Unispace to impart their knowledge and experience by sharing the advice they would give to the next generation of female leaders, or those entering the property industry.
A good leader shouldn’t have to adhere to the old rules my mentors taught me: your voice, your clothes, how much you smile, should have no bearing on how good a leader you are! To be a good leader is to give your staff all the tools and support they need to be their best selves - everything else will just fall in place.
Don’t over think! As women we sometimes tend to run scenarios in our head and undermine our own confidence. Don’t be a martyr and try to be superwoman, it is not failure to ask for assistance or extra resources, the failure is trying to do everything yourself and providing a poor result.
Keep fighting for a better workplace for women. Having a family doesn’t mean you must sacrifice your career. Let’s free ourselves from the stereotypes of a perfect mother, working girl or femme fatale. Simone de Beauvoir said: "Une femme libre est exactement le contraire d'une femme légère. A free woman is the exact opposite of a fickle woman.”
Create unity, give value to the ideas of your team members rather than impose yours, acknowledge your mistakes, don’t stop learning, be always yourself.Be proud to be a woman and don’t permit anybody to make you feel inferior. “I leave to the others the conviction of being better, I hold for me the certainty that in the life you can always improve yourself.” - Marilyn Monroe
Be proud of your accomplishments and be generous in sharing your knowledge as a mentor. Network with other women leaders in your industry as well as other industries. Women are getting much better at it, but we have a long way to go. There is power in unity.
Have faith in yourself. When looking at potential work opportunities, take time to consider whether they align with your values and what you stand for. Your character is your strength! Keep learning and reach out - our world is changing fast.
Be strong, be confident, don’t let people put you down for being you! Wake up every day doing what you love, and if you decide you don’t like doing it any more then change course. Life is fluid and you should flow and ebb with it.
Pick your battles wisely. But, when the time comes, make sure you fight for what truly matters. When Malala Yousafza spoke at the Youth Takeover of the UN, her words were a powerful lesson for all leaders, women and men: “I raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.”
Speak up for what's important to you and ignore anyone else's assumptions about what you can or can't, should or shouldn't do!
Accept that your qualification doesn’t fully equip you for the world. Learn from those around you. Some will have more titles and qualifications than you but others will simply have more life or industry experience and no qualifications. Don’t be judgmental – most of the best secrets to the world I learned from those on the ground.
You need to ignore what everyone else is doing and achieving - your life is about breaking your own limits and outgrowing yourself to live your best life. You are not in competition with anyone else. Plan to outdo yourself, not other people.
Ask, don’t tell. Coach, don’t tell people what to do. People have great ideas and solutions but they may need help drawing them out. As a result, they’ll take more ownership. Listen, and make sure you understand what is not being said, as well as what you are hearing. Finally, enjoy yourself, laugh and smile a lot and genuinely care about those around you.