Asset Manager - State Lead SA, Charter Hall
Member of the Renewal SA Board of ManagementDivisional Councillor, Property Council of South Australia
How did you get started in your field?
I've always been interested in property. So when I finished my degree at University, I focused on making my dream a reality. I was extremely keen and excited to start working after I was offered the position of Commercial Property Manager at a small Adelaide firm. This is where my exposure to commercial real estate began.
What is it like working in a male-dominated field?
Over my time working in the property industry, there has been a gradual shift to more women working in the industry, particularly in project and asset management roles. It is so positive to see a greater mix of genders evolving across the industry, with the 'pendulum' still moving to achieve a greater balance. We have a long way to go, but we're heading in the right direction.
What's helped you to be successful in a male-dominated industry?
I think it's really important to be compassionate and kind. I am also naturally a very positive person. I believe a positive attitude and seeing the good in every situation and this has definitely helped me work through some of the more challenging times. Positivity breeds productivity amongst a wider team.
It is important to be generous with your time—supporting other women is really powerful. Make the time to share knowledge and support those around you. Sharing of information supports the development of others within your team, while also giving you the power to learn and grow yourself.
What have you learned about yourself over the years?
I have learnt, whether in times of great success or challenges, how important it is to be able to leave the office each day knowing you have acted with the utmost integrity and made the best decisions you could with the information you had at the time. Things may not always go your way, but it is how you handle these situations that is important.
I have learnt to value my own skills and strengths. My resilience has strengthened over the years and staying true to my own values and beliefs is the key to my success. I am an extremely good listener, which seems simple, however I feel it is something that is often missed. It is not a failure to take the time to determine the right outcome.
What advice would you give other women who work or want to pursue a career in a male-dominated industry?
There are amazing opportunities out there for both men and women. The property industry is a fantastic sector to be a part of and make a contribution of your own.
My advice is to always be on top of what is happening in the industry—knowledge builds confidence that ensures you have a seat at the table. Push yourself to keep learning and be certain you are bringing your best self to work each day. It is incredibly important to have confidence and believe in your abilities. Don't be afraid to share your strengths and celebrate them as this will enable you and your career to continue to evolve.
What advice would you give men who'd like to support their female colleagues?
Having recently become a first-time mum, I understand more the importance of flexible working. I believe both male and female leaders play an extremely important role in supporting flexible working arrangements. These opportunities for employees to work flexibly should be taken advantage of by both men and women who are actively raising children or have circumstances that need them to do so. It is important for males to set an example in this space, to help change the stereotype of needing to be in the office 24/7 to be successful in your role.
When you decided to pursue your career, did you think about gender?
This was not something I contemplated at all. Throughout my entire schooling, I went to a co-education school and then onto university, where I was surrounded by males and females of diverse backgrounds. I did not contemplate at the time that my interest in property would lead me to work predominantly with men.
Have you ever experienced bias as a woman in your career?
During my career, I've been fortunate to be supported by employers who promote staff based on their performance, skills and ambition, rather than their gender. This does not mean bias doesn't exist in the workplace. In many instances, people are not aware they are doing it. It is important we are all aware of unconscious bias, and be mindful of the impact this may have on our decision-making process.