CBRE’s Stan­ley lead­ing the way for women on the way up in prop­erty

Irish Independent - Business Week - - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - PaulPaul McNeive

get­ting her back to work — ini­tially in a wheel­chair and then on crutches.

In 1995, whilst on ma­ter­nity leave, she was head­hunted by the late Fintan Gunne and joined the Gunne val­u­a­tion de­part­ment. How­ever, she was find­ing it dif­fi­cult to com­bine her ca­reer with spend­ing enough time with her chil­dren and she de­cided to leave Gunne in 1998 to work from home. A chance meet­ing with Tom Dunne (head of Sur­vey­ing and Con­struc­tion at DIT Bolton Street) saw her fill­ing in for a lec­turer on leave, which led to five years lec­tur­ing on the prop­erty eco­nom­ics course.

Dur­ing this pe­riod she con­tin­ued to do some con­sul­tancy work, in­clud­ing all of Voda­fone’s ac­qui­si­tions, reviews and val­u­a­tions. “You’re very torn, be­tween your kids and not want­ing to give up your ca­reer,” Stan­ley told me, adding that “you have to try and find a bal­ance.”

She was then ap­proached by Enda Luddy, now manag­ing the fore­front in pro­mot­ing women” she said, point­ing to the com­pany’s ‘work­ing from home’ and ‘re­mote work­ing’ op­tions, which are availed of by a lot of its fe­male and male em­ploy­ees.

“But it can still be more dif­fi­cult for women hav­ing chil­dren,” she said. “I still see a lot of women, es­pe­cially fee earn­ers, get­ting to a cer­tain level, and then they dis­ap­pear.”

A lot of this, she said, is be­cause “to be a top fee earner, means lots of net­work­ing and en­ter­tain­ing, and a lot of that is out­side busi­ness hours. But you just have to do it to bring in the work.”

“In the com­mer­cial mar­kets, a lot of the meet­ings I go to are all men. Most of the top de­ci­sion mak­ers are men, par­tic­u­larly in prop­erty, but that’s chang­ing as more women get top po­si­tions in client firms. For ex­am­ple, Voda­fone, Mi­crosoft, Face­book and Bank of Ire­land all have women CEOs.”

In an ef­fort to ac­cel­er­ate change, Florence Stan­ley is one of the founders of a fe­male-lead­er­ship ini­tia­tive called WOW. It re­cently com­pleted a pilot pro­gramme where 27 high­po­ten­tial women were men­tored by se­nior fe­male lead­ers and sup­ported by spon­sors ( both men and women) from within em­ployer or­gan­i­sa­tions. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see where this leads.

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