The theme of International Women's Day 2023 asks us to ''Embrace Equality'' for a diverse, inclusive and gender equal world, free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Today we remind ourselves of the importance of celebrating women's achievement, raising awareness about discrimination and taking real action to drive gender parity.
One of the missions of this year's movement is ''To forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated''. Here at James Andrews, all our staff, regardless of their gender, follow the same transparent pay and promotion opportunities structure, with over half of our Management positions now being held by females, some of whom are now working towards Associate Director level. Unfortunately, this isn't the case generally, with research by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company distributed by IWD.com, showing there is still a “broken rung” at the first step up to manager, as, for every 100 men promoted to a management level role, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of colour are promoted. This research also shows that as women move into leadership roles, their day-to-day experiences often get more difficult, citing that they are more than twice as likely to say they are “Onlys” (i.e., the only woman in the room) than entry-level women.
As we approach IWD 2023, we sat down with some of the women in our team, who each have their own individual aspirations and motivations, to learn more about their experiences as a female working at James Andrews.
Marsharee Walker, Learning & Development Manager
James Andrews have invested in me and my future here by funding my CIPD L5 qualification in L&D. In the future, I look forward to instilling the knowledge gained from my CIPD to help us get to our Investor's In People Gold accreditation - as a minimum, because I’m really aiming for Platinum of course!
I feel that women get the same opportunities as the males here, which is made clear by the fact that there are more females in managerial positions than men. All achievements are celebrated. Here, it’s more about what you do and the positive impact you have, not whether you are male or female.
Caitlin MacNamee, Principal Managing Consultant, working towards Associate Director - Property Management, Construction & Housing
I have always felt like my opinion has mattered and been considered here, never feeling that being a woman has ever held me back. Our Managing Director makes it a priority to catch up with me when he can which I value.
Myself and Puja run the office in London together, holding responsibility for our two directorates with a total of three teams each. I believe we have got here on merit and merit alone! I’ve already been promoted three times since I have been here and I’m extremely proud of what I have achieved at JARS over the last (almost) decade. I feel like the fact that I’m a woman speaks volumes for the opportunities available to women here.
Ailis Reilly, Managing Consultant, Property Management & Construction
From the minute I started it was made clear that this company wants anybody that shows they’re driven to do well. I was shown showed exactly that and was managing a team within 3.5 years Having women in management is so important and JARS definitely gives exactly the same opportunities to all colleagues. Everyone is encouraged to put forward ideas and have the opportunity to lead and manage.
In the future, I want to see my team succeed and help them to achieve their career goals. We’re in a really good position and I am excited to see what the future holds for Leicester’s Property Management team.#
Steph Beer, Business Development Manager
I’ve been given multiple opportunities to lead teams and in October 2021, my current role was created around me after I expressed interest in progressing my career in a more specialised way. In terms of the future, I’m aiming to grow my role into a Business Development department as the company continues to grow.
Looking around at my peers who are the same level of seniority as me, most of them are women. As James Andrews grows organically, it makes me optimistic about the future diversity of our senior leadership team.
Grace Lane, Principal Managing Consultant, Housing
The support for my career has been endless, opening my eyes to skills I didn't know I was capable of! I’ve been supported both personally and professionally to get to where I am today and I’d love to progress to become the first female Associate Director in our Leicester Office.
Every person is one and the same here in terms of their potential for opportunities, which are open to everyone as long as it is within your skillset remit and timeline.
Achievements are always celebrated across both your office and the whole company and you just know everyone has been rooting for you through any promotion or progression process!
Chloe Moss, Consultant working towards Senior Consultant, Housing
I have only been here for 14 months and am already on the pathway to becoming a Senior Consultant! It has always been a goal of mine to eventually manage a team and I feel like the support and training I am being given by JARS is setting me up to do this in the future.
In terms of the culture and environment, for myself as a woman working here I do not see myself being treated any differently to my male counterparts. I am supported in all that I do and I love that I am celebrated for my hard work and achievements.