As part of our internal celebration of International Women’s Day 2020, we asked one of our NPG Superwomen, Associate Director Claire Savill, to share a few thoughts on what IWD and #EachforEqual represents for her and how we can all make the property industry a better place by advocating for women.
So Claire, what does International Women’s day mean to you?
It’s a day of the year that allows time to reflect, appreciate and resolve to improve the rights of women and girls everywhere in the world. It’s Incredible how far we have come from the days of the Suffragettes, but there’s still lots of work to do for women to achieve parity with men, particularly in the property industry. It’s great to see the International Women’s Day event become so impactful nowadays, and it’s undoubtedly supporting widespread awareness of gender equality and making it mainstream.
What woman or women has positively impacted you in your career and why?
Obviously the likes of the prolific women’s rights campaigners such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Frida Kahlo, who I recall being in awe of at school. At the same time I was equally baffled as to why they were faced with so much difficultly just for being a woman.
Thinking about women I’ve met that have influenced me during my life, there are a couple that stand out. A school art teacher of mine had a particular impact early on, primarily because she taught me that it was not just OK, but a right, to be completely and unapologetically myself.
In the world of work, my first manager was perhaps the most influential during the formative years of my career. She is responsible for my core knowledge within property management and was definitely a force of nature. I was always impressed that her confidence stemmed directly from her wealth of knowledge, skills and experience of the industry. Working within the sometimes tough construction industry and predominantly around men, she definitely laid the foundations for me to stand my own in these environments and be heard. At Navana, I’m privileged to work with a number of strong, talented women who all bring a diverse range of styles and expertise to the table. Driving forward equality, diversity and inclusion is a big part of what we stand for.
Any advice for rising women just starting out in the property industry?
Know your worth and express yourself with conviction, always. I also believe strong women should support those around them, regardless of gender.
What can employers do to support progression and development of women?
Remain fair and transparent. Recognise and develop people based on measurable capability and performance, and certainly not on physical attributes or perceived and often subjective ‘style’.
What’s your ambition as a Navana Superwoman?
My ambitions here are many, but playing my part to bring about change within the property management industry, and specifically highlighting that the traditional property management role is not sustainable, is near the top of my list.
When it comes to the people I work with, I want to encourage and develop those around me to be the best they can possibly be by being supportive, collaborative and understanding. Personally, I simply aim to be the best I can possibly be and will aim to keep my eyes and ears open so I can continue to learn. I’d also like to achieve world peace, end famine and fight the climate emergency, but those might have to wait for another day…