Women in Property Preservation
3 October 2018
With only 29 women CSRT accredited across the UK* it’s clear there is a large gap within the property preservation industry. A gap, Timberwise are making a consistent and conscious effort to turn on its head by attracting, recruiting and retaining talented women across all departments in the business.
We sat down with Katie and Emily from our North East Branch as we discussed how they stand out in a male-centric industry and taking their first steps on the “surveying ladder”.
What’s your current role at Timberwise?
K: I’m the Office and Contracts Supervisor. It’s my shared responsibility to ensure the smooth delivery and completion of planned remedial treatment works carried out in commercial and domestic properties as well as the overseeing the general day to day operations of the office.
E: I currently work as a Survey Controller, I’m the first point of contact for our customers whether it is via the phone or email I answer any questions they may have as well as arranging surveys, typing reports and prioritising our Surveyor’s diaries for the region.
What made you want to take the next step and become a Surveyor?
K: I joined Timberwise 15 years ago as an administrator. I never really thought about the type of industry I was entering it was more the role I gravitated towards. I have been in the company for such a long time, I feel that I have done everything I can on the administration side of things and having been exposed to the industry I want to push myself further and take the next step in becoming a Surveyor.
E: I’m interested in the industry and how it is always changing with new techniques and the type of projects Timberwise have been involved in the past. There is a huge range of career options available in the industry and Timberwise really support you through the whole process. They are committed to investing in their people and driving talent regardless of your gender, I think it’s great!
How do you feel about working in a male-dominated industry?
K: I think a lack of diversity can feel intimidating however after 15 years in Timberwise and watching our team grow from only a handful of women working for the company to now 23% of the Timberwise family being female, as well as getting to know everyone in the business, it doesn’t feel male-dominated, it feels comfortable. I’ve always been given the same opportunities as my male counterparts and I think property preservation is an industry that is suited to both men and women.
E: It really doesn’t faze me plus within Timberwise all staff genuinely get along well with each other, especially within our office and if anything, it encourages me to work harder to stand out and show that I’m just as capable as anyone else.
How is Timberwise different from where you’ve worked before?
K: After previously working at a Law firm, Timberwise is more friendly and relaxed than my previous employment. We get the job done, however, it helps we also have a good laugh whilst doing it.
E: The morale and good relationships between team members in the offices across Timberwise make it a great place to work. Like any business, there are times where it can get exceptionally busy and slightly overwhelming but there’s always someone who can help and hard work always gets acknowledged which makes you feel appreciated as an employee. You’re treated as a person and not just a cog in the machine, which can sometimes be the case in other businesses.
How do you feel about the training you have received so far?
K: Our Timberwise Training Director Neil Hartley, has been great. We’ve had one to one training sessions, he takes the time to answer any queries that you have and he genuinely cares…he wants to see us succeed. The revision material that we have been provided with for our exams is brilliant. I’ve learned so many new skills and had so many opportunities so far during my time at Timberwise
E: I’ve been with Timberwise about 2 and a half years now, I’ve already completed Level 3 BTEC in Business Administration and I’m booked in to take my first exam for the CSTDB in October this year. My day as Survey Controller varies as every phone call is different, with working towards the CSTDB qualification this has already given me more in depth and expert knowledge to answer more queries from our customers.
Describe your experience with Timberwise so far in three words…
K: Informative, enjoyable and brilliant
E: Positive, friendly and professional
Pictured (Left to right): Emily & Katie
*figures according to trade body Property Care Association