Last night, along with my colleagues, Victoria Robinson and Joey Burns, I attended the Women in Property National Student Awards event at the RICS office in Edinburgh, where a shortlist of talented ladies was whittled down to two, very worthy, winners for the Central Scotland region (one for Edinburgh, one for Glasgow), who will now go on to the National final.
We believe it’s vital that more young women are encouraged to study relevant qualifications and make their way into the property and construction business. As a major recruiter in this area, we know only too well just how much this has traditionally been a male-dominated world and how important it is to encourage more people, of both sexes, to study STEM subjects and go on to earn a good living in one of the key sectors of the UK economy. Women are substantially underrepresented in property and construction and organisations like Women in Property do a great job in helping to redress the inequalities that undoubtedly still exist.
To that end, it was heartening to see some really important people at last night’s awards. Emma Carmichael - Chairperson Association of Women in Property, Central Scotland Branch was joined by Gemma Smith, the ex-Chairperson of Association of Women in Property and Hayley Johnston, last year’s award winner, who spoke eloquently about how winning has changed her career.
It wasn’t all about the awards though, as Peace Recruitment had been asked to make a brief presentation to the assembled students about interviewing and to offer some advice and tips to help them get a job and progress in their careers. That was my job, and although in my experience such sessions are often just ‘fillers’ before the main event, last night the audience, which included employers as well as students, asked questions for about quarter of an hour, on subjects as varied (and essential) as “should I discuss salary in an interview?” and “Do I need to take my portfolio along?”
All in all (including the champagne reception, which always helps get everyone in a good mood!), it was a splendid event, well organised and attended and, most important of all, featured two fantastic winners, Sarah Dar, who studies Civil Engineering at the University of the West of Scotland, and Alice Gama, who is studying Quantity Surveying at Heriot-Watt. Good luck in the national final ladies!
Craig Robertson, Manager, General Practice and Building Surveying, Peace Recruitment.