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‘Long way to go’ for equality in estate agency - claim

Two senior agency figures have suggested there is more work needed to level the playing field for women in the sector.

The call was made by NAEA Propertymark president Liana Loporto and eXp UK agent Clare Hughes, founders of the Women in Estate Agency Facebook group and podcast, in an exclusive interview with Estate Agent Today.

The pair said the sex discrimination case involving estate agent Alice Thompson and the subsequent response shows that there is still some way to go.

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Thompson was awarded £180,000 by a compensation panel in 2021 after her employer, London agent Manors, had refused her request to work part time - four days a week until 5pm rather than 6pm, to pick her child up from a nursery.

Hughes said: “Agency is better now than 10 years ago for women but there is still more work to be done.

“An excellent example is the recent Alice Thompson case. 

“She was earning very well but they did things that made it difficult as a mother to work in that environment.

“If those kinds of cases are still going to court then there is still work to be done.”

Loporto added: “For me, it is not the case but the comments following it that show there is still a long way to go.

“There were extremely misogynistic comments following that case.

“I have been in the industry for 25 years and big steps have been taken in the right direction but there is still more work to do.

"The conversation is going on, which is really important."

The pair discussed solutions in the wide-ranging interview such as having more female role models who also have families in various positions, including at board level, and encouraging women to apply for roles they fear they may not get if they have or are planning to have children.

Watch the full interview in the video below. You can also see part 2 here.

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