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Alongside The Property Council of Australia, we’re committed to helping more young women in reaching senior leadership positions.
At Charter Hall, we encourage our female talent to take part in the 500 Women in Property program as part of our pledge to promote diversity in our business and within the industry.
Participants are paired with mentors as well as opportunities for networking, profiling and professional development. The calendar of events for this year’s program have been somewhat disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis, but that hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of participants.
Hear from three successful nominees about what the program means for them, their current role at Charter Hall and hopes for the future.
What has taking part in the 500 Women in Property program meant for you?
Ebony Fahey, 24, Melbourne-based Investment Analyst within our asset management team: It’s an honour to be part of the Women in Property program, although it has been a little bit different in 2020 compared to other years because of everything that's happened around the coronavirus pandemic.
I intend to be a really active participant, and I hope it enables me to extend my network and industry profile by meeting like-minded women in property who have much more business experience than myself, as well as other women who like me are just starting out in their careers.
Megan Biddle, 29, our Retail Marketing Manager from WA: I've always looked up to strong female leaders, and I've been pretty lucky throughout my career that there's always been one for me. At Charter Hall that is Rachael Cowper (our Head of Business Improvement & Marketing Retail). Everyone seems to really respect her opinion because whenever she talks, what she's saying is really driven by facts and knowledge.
As a relatively young marketing manager, I’m keen to use the Women in Property program to build up my self-confidence. I don’t think networking has really been one of my strengths so far, so I look forward to stepping outside of my comfort zone, meeting new people and building some valuable social skills.
Alexa Krapeshils, 27, a Financial Analyst with our Office Development team in Sydney: I'm extremely fortunate that our head of Office Development Services Andrew Borger recommended me for the 500 Women in Property program. It’s been a really good health check for me as to where I'm currently at in my career, what my next steps are, and identifying the things that bring me joy and a sense of contribution and achievement.
One of my mentors once told me that women need to hold senior positions for two reasons. The first is because you need role models who have cleared a pathway for you and the second is to give women the confidence to use their voice and to speak up and to express their view.
What do you enjoy most about your role in property?
EF: I work with our asset managers across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. I’m part of a really creative and inventive team, and I’m proud of how we continue to lease spaces and get things done even in this crazy time.
For example, we recently acquired a building where we had two retail spaces that had long been sitting vacant, one of them for over seven years.
At the same time we noticed that the office tower was fully occupied and there was demand for space there, so we decided to convert the old empty retail space into a plug-and-play office suite where a tenant could walk in, immediately set up their devices and start operating, benefiting freelancers and startups to be able to create and scale their businesses with our help.
MB: I love working in retail because things are always evolving and changing – and COVID-19 is probably the perfect example of that! Things are always staying challenging and interesting and I think adding Raine Square onto my portfolio as well given that is such an evolving Centre that definitely keeps things exciting as well.
AK: At Charter Hall we're a bit different to the other REITs because we build developments for the long term and we pride ourselves on delivering innovative and future-focused products for our customers.
This inventive spirit is part of our day-to-day. Last year, I created a rent model for the business. I was encouraged by my peers and co-workers to really think outside the box on ways we could do development valuations better, and that rent model that I built is now something that we use every day in our office development valuations.
What does your future in property look like?
EF: In the program I hope to be an active participant and really soak up the experience, extending my network and industry profile meeting like-minded women and even other women who are just starting out in their careers, like myself. I really appreciate the property Council Australia's efforts to Champion women through this program.
In the future I hope to continue my career in the property industry, in a full-filling and exciting role.
MB: Looking into the near future, I would definitely love to stay in retail. I really pride myself on my ability to create out of the box and exciting campaigns. I'd really like to one day be able to drive that nationally for Charter Hall.
AK: I hope I can grow into a senior leadership position and become a role model to help give other women the confidence to use their voices, to speak up and to express their views.
I feel very supported by Charter Hall to achieve this goal, and I’m also excited by the growth in our industry — I think it’s really exciting. I’ve seen lots of disruption, from the impacts of COVID-19 to the Internet of Things, virtual reality, AI, robotics, globalization and even demographic changes that have all shaken up the property industry.