British women in estate agency lead the way

British female estate agents are putting their male colleagues on the back foot when it comes to vocational training, according to figures from professional body, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

In the last two or three years, according to an article on the association’s website, the NAEA has seen disproportionate numbers of women studying for professional qualifications, and also opting to sign up for NAEA membership to underline their commitment to high professional standards.

In response the NAEA has set up a group of its senior female members to develop services and support structures specifically for the growing number of ambitious women estate agents. It also hopes to build upon the growing awareness of estate agency as a female-friendly career option.

The Women in Membership focus group plans to launch a special interest group for female members in the autumn.Group member Eva Lomas, who is a past president of the NAEA and Chair of the NAEA College of Fellows, said: “Between us the members of this group have many years’ experience in all aspects of the business from residential sales to lettings and we know that it is a career that can be both rewarding and flexible enough to work alongside family or other commitments if necessary.

“We have a wide-ranging brief and we are working to provide relevant information for women who are choosing a career, and to support those who are already in the business through training, networking and support services. We are also researching and campaigning for changes to working practices that could benefit female workers, using the experiences of overseas estate agents as a starting point.”

NAEA head of membership and professional development, Ruth Lilley, is co-ordinating the group. She aid: “Historically the bulk of those signing up for membership, and those undertaking study, have been male but now the gender split between joiners is much more even, whilst many more women than men are committing to professional training.

“This is a significant change and the NAEA is keen to respond effectively. There is a lot of practical help and support already available to the NAEA’s female members. We want to encourage take-up of this assistance, and also to examine ways in which it can be developed further to help more women carve out a successful career for themselves.”
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