Inspiring young people

Hayley Turley, Asset Manager – Regent Street Portfolio

05 May 2016

In March, I was delighted to join colleagues in trying to inspire the next generation of property professionals. We hosted an event for almost 40 female students from Hammersmith and Wembley, as part of our Unlocking Property project, which aims to widen diversity within the professions we rely on as a business.

Our Chief Executive Alison Nimmo launched the event, sharing insights into her career path, and I spoke about life as a Chartered Surveyor. With women accounting for only 15% of UK Chartered Surveyors, it was great to be able to talk about my experiences and share my enthusiasm for the profession. It really would be wonderful to see some of the girls taking part going on to join us in the future.

Together with colleagues, I also hosted a marketplace stall where students could find out about different career choices – from chartered surveying, accountancy and architecture, to facilities management, law and sustainability. In addition, Emily Archer of Reading Real Estate Foundation set up a stall on the Pathways to Property free summer school, which we also support. So, what were the students most interested in? How often we get to leave the office and how much we earn!

This experience encourages young women to believe in themselves and to dare to dream and aspire beyond even their own expectations.”

Jada, year-9 Unlocking Property participant

Other interactive sessions included a competition where teams of students built towers using marshmallows, spaghetti and jelly babies. A visit to 1 New Burlington Place also proved popular, with students enjoying the behind-the-scenes tour and chance to quiz the project team, including Design Manager Tanja Pfitzner and Building Services Engineer Abigail Hills of Mace. It was great to see the students’ reaction to the scheme, which they described as ‘spectacular’ and ‘very welcoming’.

In fact, the students’ response to the whole event was fantastic and made the effort all worthwhile. They said their highlights included:

  • “Discovering different pathways because it opened my mind on my career options.”
  • “Experiencing the work environment because it gave me more ambition to achieve.”
  • “Meeting inspirational women, because they have inspired me to work hard so I can get the best out of life.”
  • “Touring the building because it gave me a feeling of what office life could be like.”

The students also identified some opportunities for us to make next year’s event even better, including adding taster activities from different roles, more tours and insights into even more roles. I’m looking forward to it already!

The day provided me with a real sense of pride. As a Chartered Surveyor, I’ve had the chance to work on some amazing projects – creating places for businesses, shoppers and local communities. Seeing the girls’ reaction to our latest development at 1 New Burlington Place was fabulous; they were very impressed. They were also captivated with Alison’s stories and seeing her command such a large workforce.

At the start of the day, some of the girls seemed quite set in what they viewed as aspirational jobs, such as medicine, but by the end several were clearly interested in pursuing careers in property. To feel that I played a part in this is very motivational. I also realised how hard it is to be a teacher, maintaining focus from large groups of teenagers every day – so hats off to teachers everywhere! 

Further information

Unlocking Property