New regional chair of Women in Property takes up role at challenging time for the industry

March 10, 2021

Sophie Endacott, a senior valuation surveyor in Avison Young’s Bristol office, has become the new South West chair of Women in Property, the organisation that has helped improve inclusion and diversity in the industry for the past 34 years.

Sophie, pictured, has been a member of Women in Property for the past six years. She takes over from Rachael Sherratt, an associate in the Bristol office of property agency JLL, as chair at a challenging time for the industry. 

She said Women in Property saw the year ahead as presenting a great opportunity for individuals and businesses to build on the “understanding, compassion and support evidenced in the industry over the past 12 tumultuous months”.

Since the pandemic started the organisation has continued to support members, transferring continuing professional development (CPD), informal events and mentoring online.

The South West branch ran 58 events last year ranging from a virtual Christmas party for 35 people including speed networking to five development updates on key projects across the region to 24 wellbeing events varying from sketching, high-intensity interval training (HiiT) sessions for an Olympian, yoga and specialist mental health sessions.

Sophie, who will hold the role of South West chair until February 28 next year, said: “We are asking employers and staff alike to be upfront, realistic and honest about the issues they face.

“We have all seen remarkable courage and resilience across the property and construction industry and in wider society. It can be tough, stepping outside of our personal comfort zones, but inevitably this is what gives us the confidence to thrive.

“This has a lot to do with inclusion and working together and, as a respected influencer organisation, we will be building on the great work our members have been doing to improve inclusion and diversity.

“It is such an honour to be taking over from Rachael. Although we have been given a roadmap for ‘normality’, there have been many challenges that are yet to be overcome.

“Women in Property is an amazing network whose aim is to nurture, support and share ideas. I want to make sure that all members across our remarkable region – from Penzance to Swindon – feel supported by the Women in Property network.” 

Avison Young Bristol managing director Jo Davis said it was fantastic to see an inspirational member of her team appointed to such an important role at a time when the industry needed to continue to work together to build a culture that promoted diversity, inclusion and equality, and made a positive difference to the people that work within our sector.

“This will become especially important as we come out of this global pandemic, which has disproportionally affected women’s employment figures and placed additional barriers to entry for many,” she said.

Women in Property, which was established in 1987, is committed to encouraging girls and young women to consider a career in property and construction, with members supporting education initiatives including schools outreach projects and the National Student Awards.

It has 12 branches and satellites across the UK and typically runs more than 400 events a year.

Earlier this month Bristol-based architect Rachel Bell, who was Women in Property South West chair in 2017/18, become its national chair, having spent the past year as national vice chair.

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