St Modwen Logistics managing director on being a people person, a role model and a working mum, and she gives her cultural recommendations

Polly Troughton

Polly Troughton

How did you join the property industry?

My route in was fairly typical for most chartered surveyors. I qualified through an estate management degree with King Sturge & Co (now JLL).

What does your job entail now?

On any given day I could be out on site looking at our parks that are under development, or out meeting customers across our portfolio. Or I could be working with equity investor Blackstone on strategy and how we evolve as we respond to growth with its support.

What do you like most about the property industry?

I love being in our offices with our specialist teams and individuals. We have a dedicated customer and marketing insights team as well as experts across development, planning, construction, investment and portfolio management. It is inspiring to see how all these different teams work so well together.

And what do you dislike most about it?

We have come far in our journey to make the industry more diverse but there is still more that can be done to attract talent from all backgrounds. There are also still pockets of the industry where things can be a bit old-school in terms of how we think, which we should always challenge. I am pleased to be at St Modwen, where we are doing just that.

What barriers or challenges do you feel you have overcome?

Throughout my career I have been supported by incredible bosses, colleagues and mentors, which in a traditionally male-dominated industry has been invaluable.

Like many others, I’ve found balancing work and home life challenging at times, but it’s important to surround yourself with those who will champion you and recognise you for your contribution and worth.

There is more to be done for women in our industry, but I am proud of the progress that is being made.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Being a working mum and hopefully being a role model to show that it is possible to have both a family and a career and love them both without guilt.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

There are so many different avenues and opportunities to explore and understand. Take the time to try as many of them as possible before settling on what really floats your boat.