Today marks International Women’s Day, the worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements in all areas of life from business and politics to sport and the arts, while calling for gender equality. Traditionally, the property industry was typically a largely male workforce, but that is changing.
Written by Lisa Proffitt | 8th March 2021
International Women's Day: Women in Estate Agency
We spoke to Jo Mitchell, Instructions Manager of our Hitchin office, about the importance of marking the date and her career at Michael Graham.
Why is it important to celebrate International Women's Day?
We are so used to seeing women in roles that were previously male dominated that it can be easy to forget how far we’ve come. International Women’s Day is an important way to promote and celebrate the achievement of women all over the world. Of course there is still a long way to go but change is forever happening and we all need to embrace it.
Is there a female figure who inspires you and why?
My mum is my inspiration. From a very young age she taught me to always treat people with respect and kindness and lead by example. Above all never rely on a man to get a job done, just have a go and learn from any mistakes!
How did you get to where you are in your career?
Gender was never an issue for me and from a young age I was ambitious and a bit of an entrepreneur. I grew up in Lincolnshire where my parents owned a hotel and after an idyllic childhood spent on the beach in Skegness I started a natural beauty products business and ran that successfully for several years. When the pull of the hotel industry became too strong I bought a home in London and worked as a hotel conference and banqueting manager. Then, like so many families, when my three children were small we made the decision to leave London and in 2006 moved to Hertfordshire. I immediately loved country life and got stuck into the local community.
I have been an estate agent now for seven years, including the last year at the Hitchin office. Women have worked hard to achieve equality in the workplace and estate agency is definitely a profession where women are highly valued. I have three children myself and International Women’s Day is important because it is a fact that holding down a professional and often challenging job whilst raising children and home schooling isn’t easy.
Why did you choose to become an estate agent?
I had a bad experience of selling my home in London and decided to use what I’d been through to offer a first class service to all my clients no matter the size or condition of their home. One of the wonderful things about my job with Michael Graham is that 80% of our customers are doing exactly what I did, leaving the city to create a new life in the country.
In your opinion, why is it important that women are in the estate agency profession?
In my opinion women are natural communicators which is a huge asset in estate agency. We often have to deal with customers who are selling their homes for highly emotional reasons, perhaps there’s been a death or a divorce, and we have to draw on our own experiences to give others the support and understanding to help them through.
What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in estate agency?
The most important piece of advice I’d give to a woman considering a career in estate agency is the advice I’d give to any woman starting out on any career path: Be true to yourself, don’t compromise and if something isn’t working don’t be afraid to make change happen.
At Michael Graham we are continuing to grow with potential locations already in the pipeline. We plan to employ both new and experienced team members for these locations. So, if you are seeking a career within the best Estate Agency in the area, please see our Recruitment page to view our current vacancies.