Women in Property hosted nearly 100 guests in Bristol on Thursday 8th March to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018.
As well as introductions from the new Women in Property South-West chairman, Carly Willis, the event provided a platform for special guest speakers: Ifeoma Fox and Charlotte Gage of Bristol Women’s Voice.
Carly said: “We wanted to invite Bristol Women’s Voice to talk to us because the work they are doing within our City is fantastic and we are well aware that the issues surrounding women’s rights and equality span wider than just within the construction industry. We think it is important that we all do our bit for our whole community not just our network.”
Event sponsors Atkins were also keen to provide their support to promote the progress of women.
Alan Jarvie, Client Director for Atkins, said: “We work hard to be considered an inclusive employer, and I am delighted when I see a lot of equality and diversity in new graduates coming through the business. There is still work for us all to be done but it does feel that with the backing of employers such as ourselves, progress is being made.”
Bristol Women’s Voice and Bristol City Council recently won their bid to the Government Equality Office’s ‘Centenary Cities: 100 years of votes for women’ fund.
Bristol was a key participant in the suffrage movement of the early 20th Century, which won women – although only those who were householders over the age of 30 – the right to vote.
Clearly much has changed since then however the speeches from Bristol Women’s Voice acted as a timely reminder of how Bristol still needs to #PressForProgress – which was the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day.
For a room full of property professionals, the issues around equality of women in the workforce are only too clear, as recent statistics showed only 7% of the full-time workforce in construction are female.
This is often clearly visible when only one seat round a meeting room table is occupied by a woman, or all workers on a building site are male.
However the awareness of the wider picture of the changes our society needs to make both for current and future generations in order to achieve equality for all is something which can be easy to forget as it is less visible.
Natalia Sokolov, an Associate at Thrings and the event organiser said: “We were keen to engage with Bristol Women’s Voice this year as part of the Women in Property International Women’s Day celebrations.
“Bristol Women’s Voice are an influential local voice for women and are having an impact on equality and diversity for women across Bristol through a variety of difference initiatives and programmes.”