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International Women's Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of women's equality, recognising and celebrating the achievements of women.
At Cobalt, we asked the women in our team to reflect and share some of their experiences and thoughts around what it's like to be a woman in the workforce and how they are helping to #BreakTheBias.
Charlotte John - Accounts & Consultancy Director
Becoming a mother hit a lot harder than I could ever have imagined. Everyone says that nothing can prepare you for motherhood and it is so true, I honestly thought after several hard, stressful, and time-consuming jobs coupled with a busy social life that parenting would be a doddle, how wrong could I be. After my first, it felt like my whole world had fallen apart. I had this wonderful human being that my husband and I had created, and it should have been the most joyful and wonderful time of my life. However, I missed my old life, the stressful but rewarding job, the parties and spontaneity. When Freddie was born it was the height of summer and I had visions of swanning around sipping Pimm’s with my baby in a sling and taking time to enjoy a well-earned rest from work. The reality was quite different, breastfeeding was brutal, emergency c-section recovery was brutal, no sleep was brutal, my husband returning to work during the week and leaving me at home on my own was brutal, and there were no Pimm’s fuelled park sessions in sight! Read the rest of the article here.
Hannah Dalton - Principal Consultant, Residential Real Estate
I’ll be no different to countless other women my age in saying I have known sexism in the workplace. I’ve felt it in varying degrees throughout my career and it was a big driver when I was last searching for a new role; it is no mistake that I ended up at Cobalt. Who’d have thought a recruitment company is where I’d see the difference?! Strong women in this business are plentiful and represent across all arms of our business from global operations to junior consultants. My own line manager Maria Sinclair, whom I met in my initial interview, was clearly a force to be reckoned with and an expert in her field. A genuine role model in those early days went a long way and she has developed and pushed me professionally whilst demonstrating compassion and understanding. “Female” qualities such as these do not lead to weak performances within a team, and in starting out in my own management career I now hope to demonstrate exactly that. In addition, I proudly represent a variety of clients with powerful women at the helm, many of whom want to have conversations with us about how we deliver on equality, diversion and inclusion. There is still a long way to go in the grand scheme of things, but working for a business that takes gender equality seriously makes me optimistic. Happy International Women’s Day to all.
Property Accounting & Finance Team
A few years ago, our Property Management Accounts and Finance recruitment team was awash with men. We had only about 30% women representing the team, and although many of them were successful and some were leaders at Cobalt, the team itself was largely representative of the industry it served – male-dominated.
Today, our Property Management Accounts and Finance team has flipped completely, with 77% women on the team covering all job levels from Consultant through to Associate Director. In the past six months, we’ve had four promotions on the team due to their continued successes, with Olivia Marsdale to Associate Director, Nicole Brookes-Higgins to Principal Consultant, and Jazmine Sims and Kelly Botero to Consultant.
While the industry is still male-heavy, we are really proud of the team which is being led by a close-knit matriarchy. We hope that this representation of women makes all of our candidates and clients feel comfortable and confident that their needs are in their capable hands. If anyone (of any gender!) would like to apply to join the team we’re always looking for people to continue to diversify our contingent of specialists in Property Management Accounts and Finance.
Rebecca Mawer – Consultant, Residential Valuations
I have had the privilege throughout my time at Cobalt to be able to inspire the younger generation through local school visits and Future Frontiers (a charity providing disadvantaged young people with the guidance, networks and opportunities they need to realise their potential). Through coaching and school visits, I've been able to help children and young adolescents actively question and openly challenge stereotypes and biases. This is so important because it helps forge a more inclusive world. Having recruited within the Construction sector; a typically male-dominated industry, for over 3 years. It is really encouraging to see so many women entering and thriving within the industry.
Maria Sinclair - Director, Real Estate & Construction
Having spent 25 years recruiting in the Real Estate space, it has been truly amazing to see some incredibly talented women make their way in what was a male-dominated industry. Whilst we still have some way to go, it's good to see the industry breaking the barriers for women and placing them where they should be; at the top of their game.
Sofia Theodoropoulou - Principal Consultant, Accounting & Finance Team
I love working within a company where work is equally rewarding and meaningful and the environment is dynamic and inclusive. Providing transparency in terms of salaries and promotion criteria are not just the right things to do for employee satisfaction but they are important tools for talent attraction and contribute to being an equal opportunities employer and reducing the gender pay gap.
Amelia Wild – Consultant, Facilities Management
In the Facilities Management Team at Cobalt, I work alongside four male colleagues. Whilst I feel that I am in a male-dominated desk and industry, this does not discourage me. I am empowered, confident and have been given the support to become the best recruiter possible. As an example, I was recently promoted to recruitment consultant from associate! TEAM FM!
The entire Cobalt team is united in our continued commitment to staying connected with you and working together in any way that we can to improve diversity and inclusion in the world of Real Estate and Construction.
Please do not hesitate to reach out. Whether that is simply sharing our experiences and insight or talking through practical solutions to remote working, managing changes in capacity requirements, business continuity, recruiting and on-boarding. We would also love to hear how you’re choosing to challenge both individually and organisationally, so please do get in touch!
Our role, as specialist recruiters in the world of Real Estate & Construction, is to understand and authentically represent the needs of our clients and candidates.
Our pledge is to help make a positive difference to the working lives of professionals and businesses in the world of Real Estate & Construction by sharing new ways of thinking, being and working.