Student wins award after Women in Property SW decides the show must (virtually) go on

June 16, 2020

A UWE Bristol real estate student is to represent the South West at the national Women in Property Student Awards after the regional heat was staged virtually.

Lobbying and networking organisation Women in Property South West decided not to let social distancing get in the way of its 2020 Student Awards. 

Families, friends and professionals from the built environment industry were able to celebrate the achievements of 17 talented regional student finalists on Zoom, when Florence Clarke, pictured, was announced as one of two regional winners.

The awards, which were sponsored by engineering consultancy Hydrock, international property agents JLL and building contractor Willmott Dixon, recognise the talent available to the industry at the earliest possible stage, highlight to industry the necessity to link with universities early in the educational process, and broaden the opportunities open to students as they progress through their university career, with paid work placements.

They also improve the knowledge of those at university on the career options available and the students’ skills to present their coursework as well as encouraging students to represent their profession and inspire other women.

Women in Property branch chairman Rachael Sherratt, who is an associate at JLL in Bristol, said: “The National Student Awards programme was established to seek out our top built environment students each year and raise awareness to the many amazing and diverse career opportunities offered across this industry.

“The two South West judging panels took place back in February and early March before lockdown and, after all their hard work, we didn’t want to let our regional finalists down by not holding an awards event.”

The Women in Property team asked the finalists to submit a one-minute video showcasing themselves and their work, which they loaded onto YouTube.

The videos were then shown on Zoom, together with a presentation from keynote speaker Fabienne Viala, chairman of national awards sponsor Bouygues Construction in the UK, alongside Savills.

The judges described Florence Clarke as “very strong, capable, confident, professional and energetic, her passion and drive came through”. 

Richard Bath, associate from Hydrock, who was on the judging panel, said: “It was really positive to see the passion and enthusiasm that came across during the interview process. If this a snapshot into the future stars of the property and construction industry, we will be in very safe hands!”

Also on the judging panel was Simon Peacock, head of South & Wales for JLL. He added: “This was my first year judging the award and I was very impressed by the standard, enthusiasm and commitment of the candidates.

“The success for me was hearing and learning from the candidates; and my fellow judges sharing to support these excellent people in their future careers.”

Fellow judge Kate Francis, chartered engineer, bid manager (preconstruction project manager) at Willmott Dixon Construction, said: “This is our fourth year of sponsoring the Women in Property student awards, an important event that helps encourage and foster increased diversity in our sector.

“The calibre of nominees and their work was impressive, and it is exciting to see that the built environment has a very promising pipeline of talent.”

Florence and fellow regional winner University of Bath civil engineering student student Ellie Naraidoo each receive a cheque for £500, a trophy and access to Women in Property’s acclaimed mentoring programme. They go through to the national final which will be held on September 16 at Claridge’s in London, subject to government advice.





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