Credible Opinions
8 March 2023

International Women's Day - look how far we've come

Amelia Blakwill
Amelia Balkwill
Head of ESG Consultancy
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Men are from Mars and women are... well, let’s just say we’re certainly not - that’s why I’m a firm advocate that workplace diversity leads to increased productivity. We think, process and action in different ways - and that’s ok!

On realising it was International Women’s Day this week, it got me thinking about my own personal experience around this topic as a female logistics expert.

Property is a male dominated industry, as we all know, and this is arguably most acute in the industrial sector - nonetheless, this has been my bread and butter for the past 10 years and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Whilst I do appreciate the challenges faced by women in our industry, I’d prefer to look at how far we have come and applaud the diversification of our industry and the people in it, whether that be male or female…but let’s stay on topic.

Almost 6 years ago I stepped foot into the Brook Street office on my first day with DTRE. Comprising just 17 people, only 3 of which were women, including me, as the only female fee earner. This is the moment where I’m meant to say that I resented being the only one, but that wouldn’t be true. Yes, it can feel isolating at times to be the minority in a perceived or otherwise, world of ‘patriarchal’ golf playing males. However, between you and I, whilst I don’t know my 6 iron from my driver the doors aren’t closed. In fact, my experience has certainly shown me that the gates are firmly open when you find a business that’s willing to back you, learn and evolve.

Despite modest gains in female representation, are things always fair in the property industry? Probably not, but do I think we’re moving in the right direction and reaping the benefits; and am I excited to see what the future hold for the women of our industry - yes!

I’ve been lucky to work with some incredibly talented and inspiring ladies through my career from operations to investment, planning to agency, development and legal. I’ve benefited from watching them rightfully work their way up the corporate ladder and that’s what has inspired me. Add to this an industry that is willing to grow and learn and you’ve got real progress.

No one said it wouldn’t be challenging to make this progress as a minority in an established industry; however, through persistence, drive and a plethora of ever-increasing female talent coming through the logistics world, in my view, the future looks bright.

I’m delighted to say that as a business, DTRE has moved a long way since I joined in 2017 and as a team of 53, we now have 16 women, including 1 market leading international female affiliate and our first female DTRE IAS committee member - that’s just over 30% of our total workforce. I’m incredibly proud to be part of such a forward-thinking industrial and life science advisory business that listened, has heard, and reacted.

I know that diversity goes much further than simply the subject of men and women, and whilst we still have a way to go, I’m thrilled about DTRE’s ongoing commitment to DE&I.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the growth of our profession is linked to growth in diversity. And I’m not trying to say that the industrial sector has reached astronomic heights as a result of the growth of women joining the sector over the past 10 years - but hey, the stats don’t lie!!