I was invited to intend the Women in Property North West Annual Dinner which took place last Friday (20 April 2018) at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester. I’ve never attended the event before so was unsure what to expect but it was quite a feeling to see 240 guests, mostly women, gathered together to celebrate the achievements of women working in property and construction.
The most noticeable difference and something commented upon by many was the feeling of being in the majority. As women we were all used to going to events where we were in the minority, sometimes being lucky to make up 10% of the audience so it was a breath of fresh air to be in the company of so many other skilled and successful women.
The year’s event was made all the more significant by 2018 being the 100th anniversary of (some) women obtaining the vote under the Representation of the People Act 1918. The chosen charity for the event was the Pankhurst Centre which is committed to tackling gender inequality and works to protect those suffering or at risk of domestic abuse. They had brought some of the Votes for Women banners with them which were displayed around the Halle Suite.
The guest speaker was Roma Agrawal, a structural engineer who had designed the foundations and spire of the Shard. She spoke about a number of transitions in her life from India, to Oxford and the world of structural engineering and underlined the importance of having a clear goal if you want to achieve a change in the world.
It was a fantastic celebration of all the women who work in construction and property in the North West of England.