Juliana Bennett is Re-Leased's Product Manager, and she's based in the beautiful Hawkes Bay region in New Zealand.
She works closely with our team to realise ways to continue to advance our platform. Ultimately, she keeps everybody accountable to ensure our software continues to lead the way in commercial property management innovation.
Juliana took a slice out of her calendar to sit down with us to share her thoughts on some challenging topics: we went head-first into what the road ahead for women in PropTech looks like, and how balance is paramount in today's workforce, as well as why she loves working for a PropTech start-up.
Here's our conversation.
How do you think women in the PropTech industry are breaking down old workplace stigmas?
The environment is very flexible and in our office most employees have young children, and as such family is a big consideration for everybody, and that flexibility around your hours is great. There is definitely allowance and flexibility around how you work.
It opens doors for people to move up the ladder, so to speak, that kind of flexibility may have only been offered traditionally to part timers, but because you have that as a full time employee, it allows you to grow with the company and still pursue your career goals.
Re-Leased is a very forward-thinking company, and they're more concerned about the quality of output than the quantity.
How are things changing in the real estate and in the technology industries? Feel free to talk about areas where there remains room for improvement.
It is changing, especially with respect to women in taking up the technical roles. Previously it tended to be a male-dominated industry, but now women are really progressing to higher management positions. Women are now definitely being encouraged more to take that career path.
The other thing that has had an effect in women, are the non-technical roles that play a big part in product dev space is increasing interest in more tech-y positions. So rather than being considered just an admin girl, woman are now thought of as more part of the team, and are now pursuing (and executing in) higher positions, more senior positions, in tech-specific roles.
What do you think are the challenges faced by women in PropTech? Why have these challenges been so prominent in real estate and technology over the years?
Identifying potential career paths is definitely one, because if you don't step into technical pathways just not obvious where you could end up. I definitely don't ever think I would have ended up in property management technology.
I think you need to work with your manager to talk about your career growth and how that might fit into the company. You see a lot more women entrepreneurs, and I don't know if that's because of the likes of social media, and due to information availability and opportunity, but it's amazing to see women succeeding in business.
Talk about your personal experience of growing in a PropTech startup. How has that experience been for you?
The most important thing for me is the allowances for work-life balance. This is a pretty high consideration for Re-Leased, as they definitely understand that if you're happy in your life, then generally you’re at ease at work, and you can give 100% to your job.
You want to be at work a lot more when you're not looking at the clock to tick over so you can get up leave. And it also gives you a different level of empathy for your users and your product – I think it has so many benefits of giving that flexibility and an overall great environment.
Working in a place that's innovative culturally just makes coming to work a whole lot better. Personality fits become more important in innovative cultures, too. It's amazing what you can achieve with the right culture...
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