Equality of opportunity for everyone is essential for businesses to thrive. For 2019 International Woman’s Day, Jennie Assersohn shares what #balanceforbetter means to her.
Introduce yourself for us
I’m Jennie Assersohn, Community Investment Manager for Living Space. I am a mentor to a 16 year old student from Afghanistan, in Brent, I’m on the Board of Directors of a social enterprise development organisation in Birmingham, and I have just signed up to volunteer with a charity called ‘The Choir with No Name’ for homeless people. I live in South West London with my fiancé (who also works at Wates!) and we’re getting married in December! All pretty busy at the moment, which I love.
How long have you been in your current role?
8.5 years. I started as an Office administrator, progressing to Bid Writer and now I have been a Community Investment Manager for 18 months.
What brought you to Wates?
I worked as a temp accounts assistant in Leatherhead in 2008 to save up for a year of travelling, and when I returned, I made contact with the same agency and they said they had a job available at Wates. I said ‘I don’t care what it is, I love that place, I’ll do it!’. Best decision I ever made.
What advice would you give to women entering the industry?
Just work hard, build relationships, enjoy it. It’s a vibrant, exciting, fast-paced industry with so much growth potential. You can do anything you want, the opportunities are there you just have to grab them.
Who are your role models?
As cheesy as it sounds my parents are! My mum has suffered with ill health recently but she is so stoic, a real inspiration to me. Also, my parents do the same job and spend a lot of time working together! (they’re both really talented musicians) and their different genders have never impacted on her progress which was a great message for my brother, sister and I growing up. My dad is also amazing, he worked for 20 years as a Director at Moody’s, but packed it in to live his dream as a full-time composer and musician.
Tell us something unusual about you
I went to dance classes for years, including street dance. That reached its peak when I got to dance on stage at a club with ‘Blazin’ Squad’, which anyone who was in their teens in the early 2000’s may (or may not!) understand how exciting that was!
What changes would you like to see in 100 years time?
I have seen how far we have come with our understanding of social value and the range of activities that can be delivered that delivers incredible social impact, so I can’t even imagine what kind of changes we will see in a Century! I imagine that operating as a social enterprise may be the only option, the ‘new’ manifestation of capitalism.