100 for 100 Series: Lia Silva | Wates

Equality of opportunity for everyone is essential for businesses to thrive. For 2019 International Woman’s Day, Lia Silva shares what #balanceforbetter means to her.

Lia Silva - Development Director, Wates Residential Developments South

Introduce yourself for us

I work for Wates Residential as the Development Director responsible for our joint venture with the London Borough of Havering. This programme is made up of 12 sites and will see over 3,000 new homes delivered across the borough over the next 12-15 years. I am Portuguese and have a Masters Degree in Architecture. After some years working as architect in Italy and the UK, I decided to accept the challenge to work on the client side.

How long have you been in your current role?

I joined Wates Residential three months ago.

What brought you to Wates?

Definitely the people. The Wates culture came across immediately and I knew this would be a great place to work. I also enjoy the challenge of my role – the scale of our Havering joint venture is impressive and provides the opportunity to really deliver tangible benefits to the lives of local people.

What advice would you give to women entering the industry?

Be authentic, be yourself.

Who are your role models?

I really admire Madeleine Albright and her famous words: “Just remember – there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

This year the theme of International Women’s Day is Balance for Better. What does this mean for you personally?

Balance for Better means more than a percentage or quotas. It should be about balance and opportunities throughout all stages of our careers. In my view entry level roles (retention) and transition into leadership (progression) are the critical steps.

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