Founder of BAME in Property
"If the role of planning is to create diverse and inclusive communities, the sector should be representative of this."
Tell us about the venture/ business/ initiative you have started...
What is your definition of success? What advice would you give to your younger self about "success"?
I remember at school my economics teacher said to my class move to excellence like a pine tree and enrich the world through your giving like a mango tree. When I was travelling through South Africa, the Deputy Principle of a primary school in Shallcross Township, Kwa-Zulu Natal invited me to their awards ceremony to give a speech about the importance of education and the huge role my parents played in this, I was delighted and humbled to accept.
Little did they know that it was a great honour for me to be talking about a topic that was so important to me. They felt empowered by my words but I felt so inspired to be in the company of such enthusiastic children, hungry to learn. I will always remember this day, the kindness of the staff and the excitement of the children – beautiful memories created in the most humble of places.
When I was younger I always thought success was being promoted to higher positions as quickly as possible, but actually everyone grows and develops at their own pace. Your career is a journey, not a race, and reminding myself to stop competing and start enjoying has been an important learning curve.
What challenges have you encountered on your journey and how have you overcome them? Is this a common challenge in your industry? How can we tackle it?
With the actual purpose of the forum, I think in the beginning there was some naivety to the extent of how uniform the industry is and many companies are still questioning the value of diversity. It’s not necessarily a challenge to overcome but it’s important for companies and individuals to come on this journey with us and be open to asking questions and understanding the benefits of a more diverse workforce.
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? If so, are there any examples you can give and tips you can share with other women on how to overcome it?
Are there women you look up to? Who are they and why are they inspirational to you?
On a professional level, women like Karen Brady and Michelle Obama inspire me – they are so raw and authentic.
What are your thoughts on work-life balance? Do you apply any techniques to achieve work-life balance?
Having time for my friends and socialising is key – it keeps me insane and regularly meeting friends is an opportunity to share ideas and learn more from them. Having time to myself is also important and I try to make time to go the gym. My real solace is backpacking around a new country every few months, where I am officially ‘out of office’, and it gives me an opportunity to develop my ideas further.