• Landsec Women

  • Molly Neal

  • Emily McEleny

  • Samantha Carrick

  • Lydia Baughen

  • Danielle Dominey

  • Simone Brown-Taylor

  • Maria Simpson

  • Melissa Okumagba

  • Abbie Brownjohn

  • Louise Ody

  • Quennie Ho

8 March 2019inclusivity

Landsec Women

Landsec Women, our women’s network, celebrates its one year anniversary on International Women’s Day. To celebrate, we asked our committee members to share what this year’s theme #BalanceforBetter means to them.

Head of Corporate Communications

Molly Neal

"Let’s leave behind the outdated idea that progress means breaking glass ceilings so that women can succeed in a man’s world.  Progress means changing that world so that it isn’t a man’s world, but a fair and equal one. That’s what #BalanceforBetter means to me.

A society built around half the population is a society that’s only achieving half its potential. Just imagine what we could achieve once we achieve equality for everyone. So let’s not talk about breaking glass ceilings. Instead, let’s challenge the foundations so that glass ceilings can’t be built.

It’s a tough challenge, but I'm optimistic. Every day I’m inspired by incredible feminists, female and male, inside and outside the workplace, who are joining together to rebuild those foundations. Why don’t you join us?"

Community Coordinator

Emily McEleny

"Every person should be able to access the same opportunities, regardless of how they identify. #BalanceforBetter for me extends beyond gender identity and represents our collective responsibility to be inclusive of all identities, in the workplace and more widely in society.

We need to keep empowering and championing those who are underrepresented at all levels. One way we can do this is to be more proactive in providing strong role models, especially for young people who want to achieve their career ambitions.

I’m excited to be a part of Landsec Women, celebrating diversity in our organisation, whilst pushing for a more balanced future."

Operations Manager

Samantha Carrick

"For me #BalanceforBetter is about improving the work life balance for all Landsec employees.

I spoke to parents across the business about their experience of becoming a working parent and that has helped to shape the support that Landsec now provides for expectant and new mothers and fathers.  We’re also looking at the support we can offer people when they return from any period of extended leave. 

It’s so important to hear the lived experience of people in our business and for them to help shape what the future could look like, and it’s empowering to be part of a network which has a strong voice and works in partnership with HR on such important areas."

Commercial Partnerships Administrator

Lydia Baughen

"#BalanceforBetter is a call to action. Awareness of the gender pay gap and the lack of equality between men and women has risen in the last few years, but there’s still a long way to go.

#BalanceforBetter sends a message of positivity and empowerment and is a catalyst for change. We’re looking for solutions, championing new ways of doing things and creating a better sense of community.

The #BalanceforBetter campaign reminds us gender equality isn’t a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. For me, there’s no better way to channel this sentiment than being a part of Landsec Women. Together we’re challenging existing biases and making a real commitment to achieving change at all levels."

Communications Manager

Danielle Dominey

"Creating balance should be the foundation of all that we do – if it’s not, then we’re all poorer for it.

At Landsec, I’m surrounded by women who consistently demonstrate that you can achieve anything. I’m surrounded by men who recognise the importance of diversity. And I’m fortunate to work for an employer who knows that gender does not determine success.

But I also know that it will be another 36 years' time before women have parity of earnings with men.   And I’m angry that’s the case in 2019. Shouldn’t we have figured it out by now?

The marker of true balance will be when groups like women’s networks cease to exist. Balance will mean that we don’t need allies, or asks, or audits, but instead can come to work and shine, in a framework that allows everyone to deliver their best."

Events Executive

Simone Brown-Taylor

"#BalanceforBetter for me means a variety of things. I’m a firm believer that we need to reclaim our time and find that 25th hour in the day to pursue our passions and goals. I was very enthusiastic to join Landsec Women from the start, to see a united balance of mixed professional women campaigning for a better workplace for all.

Our commitment is to finding that #BalanceforBetter. Landsec is already achieving this in areas such as our flexible working policy. We’re also raising awareness of all the different ethnicities, backgrounds and social cultures of this diverse company.

Balance is not something that solely affects one group, it’s the responsibility of all. #BalanceforBetter means that we all share the responsibility of improving our environment for the benefit of everyone."

Brand Experience Manager

Maria Simpson

"#BalanceforBetter means working towards equality and campaigning for better opportunities, understanding and communication for the future. 

Being part of Landsec Women has given me real insight on what needs to happen to create a more inclusive workplace, as well as what’s already being done.

We're supporting some great initiatives like Dress for Success, a charity working with women to help them back into work. I’m also proud to be involved in campaigns to end period poverty, working with young women unable to afford the monthly necessities and breaking down the barriers around a ‘taboo’ subject. 

There’s a lot to do and it won’t happen overnight, but we all need to start somewhere and being a part of that is both challenging and empowering."


Melissa Okumagba

"We live in fascinating yet tumultuous times, when profound issues affecting women are being discussed and debated nationally and internationally. I consider #BalanceforBetter a call to arms of personal responsibility and motivation for greater engagement; we shouldn’t forget that decisions that affect us socially, economically, culturally and politically are made daily. It’s a call for greater understanding, a willingness to listen and the need to push for flexibility, collaboration and inclusivity, especially in the workplace.

Landsec Women provides a great forum for me to show active support for women in the business. Not only that, the committee engages well with the business overall in working towards better solutions for everyone, both male and female."

Document Execution Administrator

Abbie Brownjohn

"Balance means different things to different people, so I think the #BalanceforBetter mantra is a great way for people to get involved and have important conversations this International Women’s Day.

For me, balance means I’m seen as equal to my peers, and that I’m judged not for what I am but who I am as a person. It gives me the confidence to be myself. Balance extends beyond gender, we should be striving for balance not just for women but for all people in the workplace and in society as a whole. It’s a useful reminder not to default to what has been, but to see a new way of doing things."

Assistant Operations Manager

Louise Ody

"You can’t complain you don’t like how things are if you take no responsibility to change them. Change can be good; as we’re seeing within our company now at a challenging time for the industry. Just because we’ve always done something in a particular way, it doesn’t make it the right or most effective way. I want to take responsibility for change alongside my colleagues.

We have to work for things to make them happen, and for me #BalanceforBetter is about highlighting this.   It’s about looking at a fairer way of doing things and helping with the solution, not just highlighting the problems. Balance of any kind takes work. You can’t expect change to just happen. We need to keep the conversation going and make sure the changes are delivered.

I hope everyone gets involved with this campaign as it’s a group effort with the power to bring real change."

Investment Manager

Quennie Ho

"No matter what stage of life we’re at, it’s important for everyone to strike a balance and it takes work. I’m constantly working on finding a healthy balance between work and wellbeing to achieve a happy and successful life. This also applies to the workplace – it takes work but encouraging and valuing diversity in the workplace creates a balanced, more inspiring and more successful work environment.

For me #BalanceforBetter means work hard and play hard, live for the moment, set yourself goals but make sure you also listen to others and challenge where you don’t think something is right.

What does it mean to you?"