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Addressing Gender Neutrality

Jane Holt, Southampton Science Park Business Development Manager, attended a sailing networking event hosted by the Association of Women in Property which sought to raise awareness of the need to enable women to progress to the top level in environments that are still dominated by men – professional sailboat racing and property.

Jane commented: “As lockdown restrictions are gradually being eased, and face-to-face meetings and events are returning, I was delighted to join my first networking event with the Association of Women in Property. The group was drawn from a diverse range of specialisms in the property world, including architecture, construction, surveying, agency and furnishing. As such, the conversation was stimulating and wide-ranging, covering experiences of lockdown, lessons learned, market developments, emerging trends, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the challenges of returning to the office.”

She continued: “The biggest take-home for me was how energised people were by the return to face-to-face interaction after more than a year in the virtual world. Taking people out of their comfort zone and dropping them into an unfamiliar environment was both liberating and stimulating. After the restrictions we have all accepted over the past year for the greater good and to protect our loved ones, that benefit was striking. It was inspiring to see how initial nerves and apprehension were replaced with smiles and confidence as new skills were acquired across the group.

“Sunsail Events pulled out all the stops, providing the event with the Magenta Project boat and a female skipper. Thank you to Philippa Klatschka of Stride Treglowan for organising such a successful event (and unbroken sunshine!) and to all my crew mates for making this a memorable day.”

The Magenta Project aims to inspire, upskill and enable culture change in sailing, one few sports where women and men can compete alongside and against each other. Established by the sailors of Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015, this collective of passionate people is committed to developing pathways and generating opportunities for women in performance sailing, working with a wide range of individuals and organisations to make this happen.

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