Listen: International Women's Day sparks 'possibly the most honest conversation in property to date'


'Whilst there have been positive conversations and changes made, the challenges women face run deep and can no longer be overlooked.'

The latest edition of property industry podcast The Real Rendezvous is being trumpeted as “possibly the most honest conversation in property to date” – shining light and talking truthfully around challenges facing women in the sector.

Released on International Women’s Day, this special episode also marks the first anniversary for Caroline Donaghue and Priya Rawal’s popular audio enterprise.

The co-hosts are joined by Adina David, Executive Director at MGT and Founder of Ladies in Real Estate; Corinne Webdale, former TV Producer & Director and UK Manager for Poltrona Frau, and Michelle de Havilland, CEO of Black Gate and industry television commentator.

It’s “a lively and thought-provoking episode,” promise Donaghue and Rawal, adding that “it was designed for men to listen to as much as women – encouraging the real need for men to educate and understand the daily challenges in the property sector for women.”

Further Reading

One of the big take-aways from the wide-ranging discussion is that companies are continuing to shoot themselves in the foot from a commercial perspective by not truly embracing diversity.

Various studies have concluded that companies with women on their board are more profitable than 100% male boards, while many businesses still overlook  the spending power of women, and fail to address the needs of female purchasers or users seriously.

“We discuss the inherent sexism in the [property] industry that has spanned generations, which has led to women being looked upon as ‘the other’ and at worst a sexual object,” explain Donaghue and Rawal. “Whilst there have been positive conversations and changes made, the challenges women face run deep and can no longer be overlooked.”

Caroline Donaghue, co-host of The Real Rendezvous: “This year we felt that it was time to be far more open and authentic in our discussions around IWD. We wanted to get to the heart of the critical issues, challenges and also day to day experiences that women face. The episode is a lively and provocative discussion which may shock and surprise some listeners! As much as we talk about the challenges we also debate some radical and surprisingly alternative solutions to moving forward.”

Priya Rawal, co-host of The Real Rendezvous: “IWD for a lot of people (namely men) within our industry is merely a day. There is a distinct lack of understanding and appreciation, that women face discrimination and commercial challenges throughout their careers on a day-to-day basis. From being passed over for promotion as a junior, to receiving a mediocre bonus to a male counterpart as a senior, to fighting a battle to be the one female on an all-male board. This episode is not for the faint hearted, but it is such an important conversation. Whilst it highlights the positive changes, a discussion as frank as this, has never been had, to tackle the negatives within our industry. I can only hope that this sparks future conversations and progress beyond IWD”.

Search for "The Real Rendezvous" on your podcast player, or listen on Spotify here

Main image: Caroline and Priya