Editor: While there has been a tremendous movement to put women at the helm of a previously male-dominated auction industry, there is still a distinct lack of women valuers in the business asset and property sector.

However, with the global effects of the pandemic still disabling businesses worldwide, there is perhaps more of an opportunity than ever for women to enter our industry.

Everywhere I look, insolvent companies are leaning on auction houses to swiftly dispose of stock and assets, including in the property market, while alternative stock-shifting methods have become desirable for direct-to-consumer purchases that will offset financial debt.

Women bring fresh ideas and innovation to the workplace, and it is vital that they are encouraged to take positions at all levels, from sale room porters all the way up to directorship.

At John Pye, we’ve been lucky to have had the inspiration of co-founder Ann Pye to follow. She made huge waves in the industry after being named the first-ever female building society branch manager in the UK during the 1960s and continued to champion young women as innovators in the sector.

But it’s not just up to individual companies to highlight the call for women, as we tackle the issues our industry faces. Organisations, such as NAVA Propertymark, must work together to showcase the opportunities available within the sector. Of course, you don’t need any experience to become an auctioneer (a fact critically going amiss in awareness imperatives) although training will help, particularly in the property auction game.

In turn, as we look to the future, we must continue to support women in the workplace by breaking the bias surrounding motherhood and age in particular. We must offer more flexible working methods and continue to forge an equal workforce for all that will condition others to do the same.

Anna Hall, head of valuations, John Pye & Sons