Women In Property: Celebrating International Women’s Day

A woman in a high visibility vest and hard hat is on a construction site.

Women In Property: Celebrating International Women's Day

This International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women who are shining within the male-dominated property industry. As of 2018, women made up 52% of non-leadership positions across all Australian property and real estate industry spectrums. Yet, they only accounted for 25.9% of senior Australian property leadership positions. 

Today, we chatted with 4 women at Hendry who champion diversity in our industry. We’ll let each woman tell you her own story in her own words, as no one is better equipped to tell you their stories. 

Table of Contents

Nanda Lihandra, National Account and Project Manager of Essential Safety Measures

Meet Nanda: 4 promotions in 4 years 

I’m Nanda, Hendry’s National Account and Project Manager in the Essential Safety Measures Team.  

I used to work as a service manager in a fire protection company in New Zealand. When I immigrated to Australia, I knew I wanted to continue working in a similar field. 

Since joining Hendry 4 years ago, I’ve been excited about my opportunity for growth, professionally and personally. As well as the never-ending support from my team.  

I’m always embarrassed when someone asks me about my accomplishments because they are not mine alone. Without the constant support from my team, friends and family, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Nevertheless, my professional accomplishment with Hendry is my journey.  

When I moved to Australia, I prepared to start from the bottom again. I started with Hendry as an Admin Assistant back in April 2018. Now, 4 years and many promotions later, I have the privilege to work with our distinguished clients as a National Accounts and Project Manager.  

During my journey to get here, there were (and still are) too many women to name who inspired me. Our world is filled with amazing women. From the famous women everyone knows through our digital platforms. To the women living in remote villages no one has heard of.  

I am lucky to live in this part of the world and work at a company where gender does not define what I can and cannot do. So, if you’re a woman looking to join the property industry and you have the passion, go for it! 

EP - Erin_Schmidt_Whit

Meet Erin: Seeing inspiration everywhere 

I’m Erin, one of Hendry’s Emergency Planning Consultants.  

I have always loved emergency response. When I found out there was a whole area of training and preparing for emergencies, I was excited to help facilities grow their resilience and knowledge. 

Since joining Hendry 2 years ago, I have done the work to become an expert in my field. And I have gained so much confidence from standing my ground. Everything I’ve done since starting at Hendry is a professional accomplishment I’m proud of. I grow and gain more knowledge every day in a positive atmosphere. I have met some amazing people within my team and through the company who are supportive and make work different every day.  

The most challenging thing about working as a woman in the industry is people who second-guess me. Luckily, I see inspiration everywhere. I went to a college recently to train a team of chief wardens and the whole team was female. It was very empowering and it’s exciting to see women getting more involved in emergency response. 

If you’re a woman looking to join the property industry, be confident! It’s a great profession to be a part of.  

Kylie Rowlands. Manager Building Surveying – QLD

Meet Kylie: Role-modelling for women in senior leadership roles 

I’m Kylie, the manager of Hendry’s Queensland Building Surveying Team.  

Building surveying wasn’t my first choice when leaving high school, but I’m glad that I fell into it. I was always interested in architecture, design and the way things are built. Layouts, finishes, materials. 

What I love about building surveying is that it gives you a broad knowledge of all those things and allows you to be amongst something from conception to completion.  

There have been many professional accomplishments that I’m particularly proud of. All of them involved being curious! I moved interstate to Darwin fresh out of university. I became registered as a building surveyor. I formed the Brisbane Hendry office 20 years ago. I’ve also extended my skill set and completed my Diploma in (Disability) Access Consulting.  

Over the past 2 decades, there have been great strides in the building and property industry in the way women are perceived. That being said, I would really like to see more women embraced in senior leadership roles. Particularly in construction companies. The biggest challenge at times is being heard. Trying to portray that you are just as knowledgeable and capable as the male colleague sitting next to you.  

In light of these challenges, I appreciate how Hendry has embraced women in the industry. I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to be the face of the Brisbane office 20 years ago if that were not the case. Hendry does not question gender. They value skill and ability regardless. Our collaboration as a national office and team is rewarding and the ability to cross borders and learn new skills and legislation is a bonus.  

In my journey to get here, many women have inspired me. Personally, my mother, my sister and friends inspire me. Their ability to strive for success while maintaining a family. And women who speak up for those who can’t inspire me every day.  

So, if you’re a woman looking to join the property industry, go for it! Be strong in your decisions and back the knowledge that you have. Be curious. Be willing to learn and step outside the box. It may lead you to unexpected and rewarding challenges and experiences.  

Danielle Stephenson

Meet Danielle: Empowering women in emergency response 

I’m Danielle, one of Hendry’s Emergency Planning Consultants.  

Disasters have always been a passion of mine. While odd to say considering their impacts, it fascinates me – the interface of environmental hazards, human vulnerabilities and our choices throughout all stages of a disaster.  

Unfortunately, in the building and property industry, women are still underrepresented in leadership positions. While there is an ongoing effort to ensure women thrive equally in our industry – especially at Hendry – representation lacks. This underrepresentation is also reflected when some clients disregard my expertise due to my gender.  

Navigating these challenges is not easy. When facing them, I remind myself of my capability and how far I’ve come to get to where I am. I also try and incorporate deliberate strategies. Learning to say no. Getting comfortable with uncomfortable topics. Helping others around me. I am continuously pushing myself to know my skill set and be confident with what I bring to the table, so I can be the best version of myself in the face of adversity.   

Within and outside of the workplace, I surround myself with incredible women who support me and fight for inclusive practices.  

If you’re looking at a career in emergencies, look no further than the Australasian Women in Emergencies Network. This wonderful group of women inspires me daily. They constantly empower me to push my personal and professional limits in the emergency field. In particular, Amanda Lamont’s exemplary work and dedication are of utmost inspiration. It is impossible to have a conversation with her without leaving energised and inspired.  

If you’re a woman looking to join the property industry, jump in! It’s a fantastic industry to be involved in and has a raft of careers available. My area of emergency planning is ever-evolving and allows me to work across a diverse range of national organisations, government departments and small businesses. The work is dynamic and collaborative, with a range of opportunities to push yourself.  

What’s best is at Hendry, I get to work with a vibrant team that constantly supports each other to reach new levels of excellence. It’s impossible not to be excited to work when this is your environment every day! 

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