University of Reading student wins Women in Property South East Student Awards

Employers working in the property and construction sector had a unique opportunity to meet some of the most talented built environment undergraduates in the region, at the Women in Property South East Student Awards on the 14th June.  Overall, 25 students took part in the regional Awards this year, representing disciplines including engineering, architecture, surveying and planning. Three winners were subsequently chosen based on their overall presentation including Mary Utley who is studying Building Surveying at the University of Reading.

Joanne McIvor, Chair of Women in Property South East branch, said: “With the industry suffering a skills shortage and with increasing demand for sustainable new housing, commercial development and infrastructure, there is stiff competition for new, skilled people, to help deliver these projects.

“Our Awards programme works with universities across the region, seeking out their brightest and best students.  Employers then get to meet them at the Awards event, ahead of the competition, when we announce our regional winners.  It’s a ‘win win’, both for Business and the students.”

Property and construction businesses acknowledge the inspirational talent coming into the industry and recognise the benefits of supporting them at an early stage.

“We encourage local businesses to get behind the students, with work placements, or simply just keeping in touch, offering advice and guidance as they approach their careers,” said Joanne.

“This sort of connection is extremely motivating and confidence-building for the students, and works well for potential employers, who get to know them before possibly offering them a job on graduation.”

Because of its wide geographic reach, the South East judging panels were held over three days, with three winners announced.  They are:

     Mary Utley, studying Building Surveying at the University of Reading.  The judges described her as “well-read, articulate, intelligent and interesting, her presentation was delivered with skill, clarity and warmth of personality”

     Katie Moys studying Quantity Surveying at London South Bank University.  The judges described Katie as “confident, competent, natural and well-balanced, a champion to women in property”

     Alviya Isieva, studying Civil Engineering at the University of Surrey.  The judges described her as being “hugely knowledgeable, very polished and considered, very professional”

Mary said, “I feel extremely proud and honoured to have been chosen by the judges as one of the winners out of a group of such talented women. Representation, inclusion and diversity is paramount to the continued success of our industry and it is my great privilege to be considered as a positive role model for future generations seeking a career within the built environment.”

Image of Mary Utley, winner of the Women in Property South East Student Awards 2022. Mary is holding a glass award and stands behind a banner which has the name of the award on it.

Mary Utley, winner of the Women in Property South East Student Awards 2022.

The National Awards programme, sponsored by Amazon, Bouygues, Savills and tp bennett nationally, was established in 2008 to seek out the top built environment students each year and raise awareness to the many amazing and diverse career opportunities offered across this industry.  Regionally, each 2nd-year student is nominated by her university, submits a piece of coursework and then goes before a judging panel in March.  

Each of the winners receives a £500 cash prize, a trophy and the opportunity to take part in Women in Property’s mentoring programme.  The final judging panel for 2022 will be held in London on 20th September, when Katie, Mary and Alviya will compete with 11 other students for the top, national Award.  This will be followed that evening by the national Best of Best Dinner at Claridge’s, when the winner will be announced.