Happy International Women’s Day!


To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, we wanted to share stories of inspiration from the women in our lives. This week we’ve been hearing from the team about the women from all fields – from our families to activists, sporting heroes and our own TFT colleagues who inspire us to follow their example and, in turn, to inspire the next generation too.

Take a look at the stories below, and let us know who inspires you!

Margherita Pende, Senior Project Manager

My mother Flaminia taught me that nothing is impossible if you want it. I hope to be able to continue my mum’s legacy and philosophy, that you need a bit of juggling skills and energy but if you love what you do, you will be just fine!

Neil Gilbert, Partner

My fellow TFT partners Chris and Jacqui… they’re very strong, motivated women and they both have a special place in my heart. My dear mother was instrumental in shaping the life I have today – I look after her now, in gratitude for my early years.

Julia Cox, Office Manager

I am inspired by all the strong women in my family, my mom, my sister and my twin daughters who have all coped with adversity and have shown incredible resilience and fought back stronger.

Sheridan Vickers, Secretary

Monika Polnik, (RoL CAD Surveyor). She is my inspiration – she is a single mother, works very hard and has stresses but doesn’t show them. She deserves recognition on how she manages her work and personal life. She is a star!

Jan Mason, Secretary

I know they’re no longer with us, but Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa spring to mind. They may not have changed the world, but they did important work that helped many people and they’ve made history. My mum was an inspiration in many ways too.

David Mann, Partner

I’m inspired by those who go out of their way to effect change in our industry, because all too often it can feel like an uphill battle. So I would like to mention Dame Alison Nimmo DBE, The Crown Estate CEO until December 2019. She not only led significant change within TCE, increasing diversity including a female CFO and COO, but also drove a sustainable and industry-leading portfolio of places for people. She’s been a great supporter of Freehold and other industry networks too!

Deborah Brown, Associate

Emmeline Pankhurst the leader of the Suffragettes was most inspirational to me. Every time I walk past the new statue of her here in Manchester it gives me tingles. What she did for us women in the past goes without saying.

Chris Gibbons, Partner

For me it has to be Mary Anning. As a woman, she was not eligible to join the Geological Society of London and she did not always receive full credit for her scientific contributions. But my 3 daughters are fascinated by the story of Mary Anning and the two eldest want to become palaeontologists as a direct result of hearing of her life and work.

Sarah Gunn, Marketing & Communications Executive

The young female Finnish ministers who are inspiring diversity in politics and leading from the front. They are such a progressive country and I really think this has a big part to play in that!

Jacqui Allen, Partner

Zaha Hadid, she was an Iraqi–British architect and was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. To inspire the next generation, I want to lead by example! It’s as simple as that.

Dan May, Associate

Elise Christie – She’s been very successful but also had a lot of setbacks… And from those she always dusts herself off and goes again, which I admire.

Neil Wotherspoon, Partner

Little cheesy I know, but it has to be my wife; Jane. The way she has learnt to be a new mum and cope with all the pressures of raising twins, is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen. We both think it’s important that the twins see Jane and I pursuing careers, splitting the home stuff and having some independence too.

Sophie Willetts, Associate

My mum, she worked in the 70s when not many women did. My gran, because she was always happy, how she managed it I don’t know. My single mum friends who do an amazing job of bringing up kids and working without seemingly breaking a sweat.

George Cunningham, Technical Partner

My big sister, who is battling cancer for the 3rd time in 30 years so far and she still going strong. In sport, Joe Pavey, Sophie Raworth and Eleanor Simmonds are three icons who made their mark against the odds.