As a young female leading a property development company, in a male dominated industry, I am passionate about encouraging other women to step into their power. I work for View Bank Homes a family owned and operated business, started by my parents in the nineties. We develop land and build housing estates predominately in Melbourne’s north.
My career started 6 years ago in management consulting. Several years later I found myself in property. I am a young ambitious leader who never expected to find myself dealing with bricks & mortar, cement deliveries and trades, but here I am and loving it.
Growing up as the daughter of Greek and Nigerian parents who moved to Australia with very little money to create a new life for themselves, I have witnessed first-hand the power of hard work, commitment and discipline.
My parents also modelled to me the value of giving back, by contributing what small amounts they could afford to family back home in Nigeria and Greece.
“What’s it like leading an organisation in a male dominated industry? I think I was fortunate to be born when I was, because the tide is clearly changing.”
Today I use the lessons I have learnt through my corporate, entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures to empower other women. What’s it like leading an organisation in a male dominated industry? I think I was fortunate to be born when I was, because the tide is clearly changing.
As a culture it’s becoming increasingly acceptable for females to lead organisations. In the property industry we have come so far, from the days of the ‘boy’s club’. I have been fortunate not to have witnessed the discrimination my fellow female mentors speak of. Sure, I am the only woman on site and I spend my day mainly dealing with men, but the reception I receive from everyone is positive. In fact, I see being a minority as an opportunity. It brings women in the industry closer together.
I find it easier to network and build strong relationships given we’re a smaller group. Being female also tends to be a perk with customers. Typically when a customer has a meeting to meet with the ‘builder’ they are shocked to realise they’ll be meeting with me. Most of the customers I meet with are female. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard ‘what a pleasant change to be dealing with a female builder that I can chat openly with.’
Why did we partner with Build in Common? Because the more we can empower the consumer the better. I constantly meet with customers who are hesitant to ask ‘stupid’ questions. Building can be daunting and mistakes are pricey. Wouldn’t it be great if customers were given a manual on what to expect during the building process? This would take the heat off the consumer and also the builder. It would make meetings with the builder more efficient and minimise overall anxiety. Win-win. This is a gap that Build in Common are filling and it is an honour to be supporting them on this journey.
Our Guest Contributor:
A big thank you to Leonie Akhidenor, Head of Residential Developments at View Bank Homes. It is evident that as a young female leading a multi-million dollar company, in a male dominated industry, Leonie is passionate about encouraging other women to step into their power!
View Bank Homes are both the developer and builder of their housing estates. Starting out in 1990, from humble beginnings, this family owned business has built a strong reputation in Melbourne’s property market.
The company prides itself on selling quality, with an affordable price tag. View Bank Homes has developed homes across metropolitan Melbourne, growing their portfolio from 2 to 3 townhouses at a time, to estates of 250 houses. View Bank Homes are currently building housing estates in South Morang, Melbourne. For further information visit viewbankhomes.com.au or follow them via @viewbankhomes.