International Women’s Day At H&H Land and Property

7th March 2019

The property teams of H&H Land and Property (HHLP) are today supporting International Women’s Day [IWD]. Performing at the centre of all our business, 64% of the staff who work across the H&H property brands are women.

IWD, on 8th March, is a global celebration of the social, economic and political achievements of women that serves to champion women’s rights, female empowerment and gender equality. The theme for International Women’s Day this year is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, and puts creativity and innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the heart of efforts to achieve gender equality. H&H supports these aims by recognising and saluting their work and achievements.

H&H’s property teams comprise of women, in a variety of roles, who are making great strides in the industry. The rural scene has traditionally been a male dominated industry but that is beginning to change, in testament to this year’s #BalanceforBetter hashtag.

Here, H&H celebrate and highlight some of the female staff from across their offices and services. The 6 profiles all highlight their journeys, and the contribution they are making.

Helen Forbes has been the Senior Sales Advisor at the Durham office for just over 2 years and works closely with Shirley Dodd at Carlisle and Lucy Hill at Kendal, who are both involved with the property sales administration.

On International Women’s Day, she says: “I think awareness days are very important to show future generations just what can be achieved by women. Our nation’s young women need positive role models to demonstrate what can be done with hard work and dedication.

“Our celebrity culture seems to promote a “have it all without any talent” message, but this so-called success can only last for a short time. Inspiring women, like Sue Snowdon, a farmer’s wife from County Durham, is the very first female Lord Lieutenant to be appointed. She did not get where she is today by not working hard.”

Helen lives just outside of Durham, with most of her family actively farming or are some way connected in agriculture. Before working for H&H, she worked in Human Resources in a variety of sectors. “I’m customer focused, paying attention to detail and having to respond quickly to customer needs. In my two years with H&H, I have learnt a lot about selling properties and about the company.”

On the future she adds: “Whilst the market is very competitive, I think that H&H is very well-placed in the market to provide a quality service. Brexit may well bring challenges we have not even envisaged yet, but with our breadth and depth of knowledge, we will rise to those challenges. “

Tracey Jackson, MRICS FAAV, is an Associate and Chartered Surveyor, working at the Borderway Offices. On International Women’s Day, Tracey says: “Agriculture has always had a strong male dominance and it is important to highlight the work of females taking roles in agriculture, for which International Women’s Day is a great platform.”

Now living in Carlisle, Tracey grew up on a Mushroom Farm near Thursby, and a livestock farm near Sebergham, and worked at Lancashire County Council for 6 years. She studied Rural Enterprise and Land Management at Harper Adams University and completed a 1-year work placement with Berrys in Shrewsbury.

Tracey looks at the extra hurdles she has faced, as a woman: “Being female and petite is not without its barriers, clients can be inclined to prefer the male agents, as they are perceived as knowing more. I feel like I have to work harder to build my reputation because I am a woman.”

On the future she adds: “Generally Brexit is the big concern at present, and the unknown with regard to what threats or potential opportunities this will bring. It makes business planning extremely difficult. However, I can see potential to embrace technological advancement, for those who are looking to progress their business.”

Hannah Maynard is a Graduate Surveyor working in the Durham office. On International Women’s Day, she says: “I believe that International Women’s Day is important for all of us in the rural/land sector. It has been historically seen as male dominant, however increasingly more women are now coming into the industry and International Women’s Day celebrates this success.”

From a rural background in North Yorkshire, Hannah took a Rural Enterprise and Land Management degree at Harper Adams University between 2014 and 2018. Working at HHLP for her placement year from 2016 to 2017, she was then offered a Graduate job. Hannah enjoys working in the Durham office with her fellow female colleagues including Helen Forbes, Louise Stones, Jay Fry and Alice Blackett.

On the future, she adds: “The threats come from the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and UK industry going forward. However, at the same time, Brexit could create opportunities in the long term.”

“I am looking forward to growing within the organisation and on the professional land agency career path.”

Karen Philipson is the Offices Manager for HHLP at Kendal. On International Women’s Day, she says: “Initiatives like International Women’s Day are important to highlight how amazing women are. Most are working, running a home, raising children and looking after families.”

Karen’s history spans three companies. She was a Team Leader in a Customer Service department for Lakeland, then joined Michael C L Hodgson in 2008 as an Accounts Assistant, whilst studying for her AAT Qualification.  Promoted to Head of Accounts, she stayed with the company when it was acquired by H&H in November 2015. In August 2017, she took on the new role of Offices Manager, and now lives in Kendal with her family.

On the future she adds: “Women should be celebrated, and we should promote the valuable contribution they make. It is equally important that women value themselves and make time for themselves.”

Anne Strong is an Assistant Accountant working at the Borderway Offices. On International Women’s Day, she says: “IWD helps break down the gender stereotypes and prove women are just as capable to do the job as men.”

Anne was brought up on a family farm (Beef and Sheep) in the Eden Valley. After moving out of home, she first lived in Carlisle close to work and social life, then moved to Penrith with her Partner and 2 little girls (4 & 1).

Anne describes her journey with HHLP: “I first joined H&H in 1994 as an office junior in farm-stock. I worked my way up through the office and sat my AAT Exams with the hope of moving into a finance position. In 2010 I got my current role and, alongside the company accountant at the time, brought the accounts department up to scratch and in-line with RICS guidelines.”

Sarah Wright, with a BA in Journalism, is Lettings Manager for H&H King based at Rosehill.

On International Women’s Day, she says: “IWD is there to inspire future generations and show women can do just as much, if not more, than men. Our lettings team is made up of four ladies including myself – Jenna Nixon (my wing-woman and residential lettings coordinator), Linda Gardner (accounts) and Louise Richardson (property inspector and out of hours viewer). We work tirelessly making sure the properties are being maintained accordingly, rent is being paid on time, and expectations are met from our landlords, and equally our tenants.

“I’m not a fiery feminist but women deserve recognition where recognition is due, and women need to support each other’s achievements and help build each other up. It’s tough enough out there!”

Sarah started as Residential Lettings Coordinator in December 2015 and was promoted in February 2017 to Manager. Originally from Malton in North Yorkshire, she has been in Cumbria for the last 17 years and now lives in Corby Hill, about 10 minutes from Carlisle. She graduated from the University of Cumbria in 2012 before spending time working for a publishing company in Carlisle within Client Services. Sarah gained admin experience at a private security company, before starting out in H&H King.

Looking forwards Sarah looks at the marketplace: “It is a very competitive market – we are one of 16 agents in this part of Cumbria and we are all fighting over a narrow market. We pride ourselves on quality trustworthy service and we most certainly hold our own – we’re consistently ranked within the top 3 agents in the Carlisle area and we hope to take this forward.”