Women in the Design & Build Industry
In honour of International Women's Day , we have been asking the lovely ladies of Office Image to discuss their achievements, personal and professional, what inspires them and what advice they would give to others to help inspire.
Today, we sat down with one of our Corporate Development Directors, Kate Simpson, to discuss her experience in the property industry. She told us about the challenges she has faced, how she dealt with them and what advice she would give to help others...
A little bit about Kate:
Graduating with a BSc in Land Management, Kate studied at the University of Reading. She selected this University and to read Land Management as an undergraduate because it was and still is considered to be the best course in the UK for students wanting to become Chartered Surveyors. She chose this career path knowing that following on from University she would practice as a graduate before being allowed to sit professional exams and gain her status as a Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. She decided to become a Chartered Surveyor as the property industry appealed to her with its complexity and diversity and she hoped to make an impact in what still is a male dominated field.
Having worked in the property industry for twelve years, Kate decided that she would put her knowledge and expertise of commercial real estate into a slightly different industry and joined Office Image. Here she is front of house liaising directly with clients in order to achieve their design and build objectives for their properties.
What is her biggest achievement?
"Achieving my MRICS status so that I became a Chartered Surveyor; something I had wanted since my late teens. Also, becoming Head Girl in high school. Again it was a position I had really wanted for a long time but my school historically always selected Oxbridge candidates and this was a box that I wasn’t going to tick. Luckily for me during that year’s tough selection process they weren’t adverse to breaking the mould and looked to other skills beyond intelligence alone. I thrived in the role and I loved every second."
Have you faced any challenges throughout your career?
"Being female in this industry has its challenges. You offer a completely different approach and understanding to work and this is invaluable. You are often considered memorable and that is a good thing but it can bring with it elements that are unwelcome."
How have you dealt with this challenges?
"You never forget how you got to your position and why. It was through hard work that you put in so have confidence in yourself ".
Why is International Women's Day important to you?
"As it’s the centenary of the Suffragettes this is an excellent day to celebrate women and progress over the last one hundred years. Disappointingly, this year has seen a lot of controversy regarding the way women have been viewed and treated within certain industries and it’s pretty obvious it happens everywhere regardless of location and sector. Celebrating women on an international scale highlights our attributes and contributions. A world without women would be pretty boring….and it wouldn’t survive very long so let’s not forget our significance."
For more acheivements and inspirations from the females of our Office Image team, head on over to our twitter page.