With 64% female staff, Leaders Romans Group are leading the way with gender equality in the property sector

March 6, 2018 Grace Watson

To mark International Women’s Day on 8th March, all staff across the Leaders Romans Group – both male and female, will be wearing purple to raise funds for the Africa Educational Trust, a charity which helps provide education to young girls in South Sudan who would usually be thought of as unworthy of an education.

“Gender politics have become an emotive topic of late with the 100 year anniversary of women being able to vote and the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements sweeping the globe, International Women’s Day has provided us with the perfect opportunity to get behind this cause and make a difference” explains Vanessa Foot, the Group’s Culture and Community Engagement Manager.

Despite the property sector being a seemingly male-dominated environment, at the Leaders Romans Group, we have strived to ensure that everyone is given equal opportunities for career progression.

Across the business, females make up 64% of our staff working in a variety of roles ranging from our apprenticeship scheme all the way up to the executive board of directors.

We want to encourage as many young women as possible to consider are career in property with us, so we’ve asked some of our female professionals to explain how being a female in a male-dominated industry has impacted their career…

Allison Thompson – Lettings Managing Director, Leaders and Operational Director, Leaders Romans Group

I joined Leaders in 1992 as an administrator in the company’s branch in North Lane, Brighton and soon progressed through the company being promoted to branch manager, area manager and lettings director before becoming the companies managing director in 2016. Being a female has certainly not affected me reaching my professional goals at Leaders nor has it stopped me from becoming an Executive Director for the Leaders Romans Group.

Vanessa Foot – Culture and Community Engagement Manager, Leaders Romans Group

I started my journey in the property industry as a Sales Negotiator, joining Romans as a Divisional Sales Manager. Back then I was one of the few females working in the branch, however, over 10 years’ later, I have progressed through the company being recognised for my performance rather than being held back by my gender. From being given the opportunity to head up the recruitment for Romans back in 2010, to my most recent promotion to Culture and Community Engagement Manager for the Leaders Romans Group, the company has given me every opportunity to progress and develop.

Hannah Pentecost – Head of HR Operations, Leaders Romans Group

I work as the Head of HR Operations across the Leaders Romans Group. I have progressed from a HR Advisor since joining five years ago through the succession and development provided by the company. As a business we are very proud to have a strong female workforce. Across the group 66% of our employees are female and our Board of Directors reflects this very strong female presence. It is very empowering as a women to being led by a female strong board, especially in a male dominated industry.

Emma Wells – Lettings Director, Leaders & Operational Director, Leaders Romans Group

I have been working in the lettings industry for more than 20 years. I joined Leaders through an acquisition in 2011 and am now responsible for the northern part of the Leaders branch network. Despite property typically being a male dominated industry, at the Leaders Romans Group, we have a strong female representation across our board of directors which I hope inspires women in the property industry to aim high.

Kathy Valverde – Lettings Director, Leaders

I started my career as a secretary at an estate agents in 1979 and have subsequently enjoyed extremely successful periods in both sales and lettings. I joined Leaders in 2003 through an acquisition and am now responsible for more than 50 branches and hundreds of staff in the south. Despite taking a career break to start a family, I have still been able to achieve my professional goals and progress to becoming an Operational Director at the Leaders Romans Group so I do not feel that my gender nor my career break has impacted my career.

“As you can see, being a woman in a male-dominated industry has its advantages and here at the Leaders Romans Group we give everyone equal opportunities to succeed.

“In addition to offering equal opportunity for male and female staff, we also strive to improve their work-life balance. We place a great importance on ensuring our staff can fulfil family commitments and employ a number of modern working practices including flexible working hours, job shares and, in some roles, the opportunity to work from home.

“I would urge anyone seeking a career change to contact me today to find out how you could progress your career with us”, Vanessa explains.

If you are interested in starting a career in the property industry and would like to find out more about working for The Leaders Romans Group click here!