In Conversation: Monique Royle
March 30, 2012
There are a wealth of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors and we want to speak to them about their work. If you would like to feature in this series, or to suggest someone that might, please get in touch through our contact us page or let us know on twitter.
Today we speak with Monique Royle, part of the Association of Women in Property and former National Chairman of the organisation. This interview was undertaken while she held that role, to provide us an insight into the important work that Women in Property undertake.
In one sentence could you sum up your role?
I head up the Association and, with the support of the Executive team, agree the direction and programme for the year ahead, in addition to being media spokesman and undertaking a wide range of speaking and networking events.
And in one sentence, what Women in Property does?
Sorry, got to do it in two – we provide a networking platform for women working in property and construction, offering support and guidance for their personal and professional development through events, mentoring and connections. WiP is also a champion for girls and young women considering a career in the industry and, at the other end of the spectrum, encourages and helps enable senior women to take that all important step onto the Board.
Could you tell us a bit about your background?
After qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor, I worked for a Brewery in Sales and Operations for seven years before returning to Surveying – all very male-dominated industries. I specialise in valuing and selling pubs and I love it!
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is no typical day. It could include client meetings, site inspections, viewing, writing reports and so on. With my WiP hat on I might also have a branch committee meeting or event to attend, somewhere in the UK, or discussions around membership figures, national initiatives such as our 25th Anniversary this year or our educational programme. Every day is very different – variety is the spice of life.
Men outnumber women considerably in the property industry – why do you think this is?
It starts at the very beginning – careers in property, certainly for girls, are not discussed in school and there are very few role models for girls. Further down the line, for the 15% of the property and construction workforce that are female, there is still not enough flexibility for experienced and talented women returning after career breaks.
Women in Property hosts an annual award for female students. Why is it important to support them in this way?
We launched the National Student Awards in our 20th anniversary year, to celebrate the wealth of talent coming into the industry and to draw attention to the ongoing under-representation of women. The Awards give students exposure to the industry early on, not to mention some senior individuals across the many disciplines, many of whom become good contacts for them. The Awards process requires them to think hard about how they present themselves and the issues facing the wider industry.
What are your aspirations for Women in Property over the next five years?
It would be great to say that the ultimate aspiration is for WiP to become redundant because we are not needed any more but that would be extremely idealistic! We will of course continue to support young women coming into the industry but to also assist those who are at a midpoint in their careers, as they should be amongst the industry leaders of tomorrow. We are keen to see more of the hugely skilled and experienced senior women mentoring and inspiring this middle tier. They are the role models who will provide invaluable help in changing the perception and content of boardrooms.