Mentoring Circle to bridge more women into senior positions
A female Asset Manager has launched a new mentoring scheme to address the acute disparity between men and women in leadership positions within the property industry.
Vanessa Murray, Asset Manager at London Developer Stanhope, said Mentoring Circle partners newly qualified female surveyors with senior female professionals working in real estate for a free, one-to-one mentoring programme over 12 months.
Coinciding with International Women's Day 2021, over 35 mentors from a wide variety of prestigious partners have signed up to the programme including Savills, MACE, Aecom, Build UK, Foxtons, Say Consulting, CBRE, Kier Group, Capita, Great Portland Estates, and Bruce Gillingham Pollard among others.
One of the key themes from initial research has been the widespread recognition of ‘Imposter Syndrome’ amongst women in the industry with many doubting their skills, talents and achievements against their male counterparts. The scheme mentors have identified that the period post-qualification becomes a key point for talent retention of women within the industry.
"Graduate intake of men and women has been evenly split since I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2014, but there is still a disappointing lack of women at senior executive level," she said. "I noticed that the industry loses a lot of women post-qualification and was really keen to address this issue and provide support to the group who need it the most, that’s where the idea for Mentoring Circle came from."
Vanessa believes that the principles behind ‘Mentoring Circle’ are crucial to help address the diversity challenge within the industry, particularly the stark lack of women in senior leadership positions.
Gillian Charlesworth Group Chief Executive of BRE Group, Debra Yudolph Partner at SAY Property Consulting and Polly Plunket-Chekemian Senior Executive Director at MAPP are among the 35 inspiring mentors who will be providing their professional expertise to assist mentees in establishing clear goals at their outset of their careers.
Mentoring Circle is free and available to all female property professionals with up to 18 months post-qualification experience.
To apply for the scheme, mentees will be required to submit an application form outlining key information and areas of focus by March 22. Forms are available via the dedicated LinkedIn and Instagram page.
An analysis of over 500,000 small businesses by SME insurer Simply Business, shows that while there are still a greater number of SMEs owned by men, female small business owners are rising at a significantly faster rate.
Female-owned SMEs rose by 18% since 2017, compared to 14% growth in male-owned small businesses for the same period, and female-owned SMEs now account for 29% of all the small businesses in the UK.
Chief Operating Officer Bea Montoya said International Women’s Day is hugely important in providing positive recognition of women all around the world.
"So we are delighted to mark this day to share that this year we are seeing more women than ever following their big dream and being their own boss – whether that’s turning a hobby into a livelihood, or using years of professional experience to do it alone," she said.
“Small businesses are vital to our economy and will be at the heart of our collective recovery from the pandemic. Our data shows that increasingly it’s women who are leading the way. And given the number of female-owned small businesses continues to rise consistently year-on-year, we can only expect this to continue into 2022 and beyond."
ReCreate project reuses concrete in new buildings
Reconciling the carbon conundrum in construction will not be a quick fix but researchers at Finland's Tampere University may have hit on a way of deconstructing concrete elements and reusing them in new buildings.
Its four-year ReCreate project, which has received €12.5 million of funding under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, involves universities and regional company clusters in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany. All the country clusters will carry out their own pilot projects where they deconstruct precast concrete elements intact and reuse them in a new building.
“By reusing concrete elements, we can save an enormous amount of energy and raw materials,” says Satu Huuhka, adjunct professor at the Faculty of Built Environment at Tampere University, who leads the ReCreate project. “We are specifically looking to reuse the concrete elements as a whole, not as a raw material for something new."
Researchers at the Faculty of Built Environment have been carrying out ground-breaking research into the circular economy in the construction sector for a decade.
Long-term research on renovation and the lifecycle engineering of structures provides a solid foundation for the development of quality assurance procedures that will ensure the safety and integrity of the reused elements. This time, the researchers are set to explore not only the technical implementation of the solutions but also the business perspective.
Huuhka acknowledges there are many unanswerered questions, from assessing structural integrity to building code requirements - and ultimately how to turn ReCreate into a viable business. "We must also consider the social aspects: does the process require new skills or new ways of working?” he adds.
Tampere University researchers will also bring to the project their specialist expertise in circular economy business models, building regulations and law, and occupational sociology. The Finnish country cluster comprises Tampere University, Skanska, demolition company Umacon, precast concrete company Consolis Parma, engineering and consultancy company Ramboll, architecture firm Liike Oy Arkkitehtistudio and the City of Tampere. The communications partner is the Croatia Green Building Council.
Buildings generate nearly 40% of GHG emissions and the rising pace of construction - up to 2 trillion square feet could be added by 2060 - means finding a sustainable concrete solution is essential.
Graphene concrete on firm foundations, CarbonCure accelerates growth and Nexii expands in US
Nationwide Engineering is claiming a world first today as it lays the world's first graphene concrete slab engineered for sustainability in a commercial setting. The new material is strengthened by around 30% compared to standard concrete and so significantly cutting material use.
It has partnered with the University of Manchester's Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and structural engineers HBPW Consulting; graphene is an allotrope of carbon and the resulting mix with concrete produces a substance that area for area, is stronger than steel, it claims.
CarbonCure manufactures a technology for the concrete industry that introduces recycled CO₂ into fresh concrete to reduce its carbon footprint without compromising performance. It was named one of two winners in the US$20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and the money will be used to accelerate its mission of reducing 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually by 2030. Carbon Cure believes the use of CO2 in concrete is expected to become a US$400 billion market opportunity.
Nexii designs and manufactures high-performance buildings and green building products that are sustainable, cost-efficient and resilient in the face of climate change. It recently teamed up with actor and Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton, who will have an ownership stake and play an active role in Nexii’s upcoming manufacturing plant, which will be its second in the United States and sixth overall.