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People Series – Florence Julius, Director, talks about her own experiences as a woman within Real Assets Advisory to mark International Women’s Day

Florence is a Director in our Occupiers & Capital Projects team within Real Assets Advisory. To mark International Women’s Day, she has reflected on her own experiences as a woman in real assets management, and her advice for others.

1. What is your professional background, and what attracted you to Occupiers & Capital Projects?

My background is in engineering management, with a focus on helping clients to better deliver capital projects. I joined RAA because we are currently building and expanding our asset management capabilities - an area I’m very passionate about - and I wanted to be part of the team to help grow that business.

2. What differences have you noticed between Deloitte O&CP and your previous job/firms?

I’ve noticed a more open atmosphere at Deloitte, where people feel comfortable to speak their minds. This goes to the heart of being an inclusive organisation, allowing different people to speak in meetings regardless of grade, and giving everyone the opportunity to get their voices heard.

3. Deloitte’s theme for this year’s IWD is to #BreaktheBias in our communities and workplaces – how does this theme resonate with you?

In our industry, you don’t tend to find women of colour in such senior positions, and I have had experiences where people have assumed my first name is “Julius” - a man’s name. #BreaktheBias resonates with me as I firmly believe that regardless of your background or ethnicity, you can always work your way to the top if you work hard and are passionate about what you do, provided you have the right support and encouragement too.

4. Deloitte’s annual IWD challenge is to #BetheButterfly, which is all about taking small actions to positively impact women and girls. What personal commitment would you like to make to #BetheButterfly?

Linking with my earlier point about the importance of having the right support, I enjoy giving junior colleagues, particularly female colleagues the opportunity to lead parts of meetings and raise their profile in front of our clients. I believe this helps them to build their confidence and skills in a client facing capacity, and I am committed to doing this as much as I can to give the people I work with even more opportunities.

5. What advice would you give to people, fellow women in particular, interested in pursuing a career in real asset management?

My advice would be to reach out and speak to other people in the field to learn from them and their experiences. There are a number of different career options in the real asset management space, so speaking to people in a role or position you aspire to, will help to inform what route you wish to pursue. I would also recommend finding coaches and mentors to support you throughout your career – mentoring others is something I have always done, and I have also hugely benefitted from having mentors of my own.

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