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5 minutes with 16th October 2023

Here we meet Joanne Tamberlin, Senior Associate in the Workman Retail & Leisure team, who first joined Workman in 2003-2008, and returned in 2009. 

What three words describe Workman?

Specialist, professional, open.

How are you putting your skills to their best use at Workman?

I’m the management team leader for a new client – I helped to onboard this client upon my return from maternity leave. As a working mum to a young boy, as well as being responsible for a team of surveyors, I’m most definitely deploying my organisational skills at present.

Tell us about your role, and why this is important to the firm and its clients?

I’m a Senior Associate in the Retail Team in Manchester, and I’ve been lucky to work on varied and interesting properties and also to work with a range of diverse clients with different approaches and goals. The experience and knowledge I’ve gained allows me to tailor my advice to my clients, using my understanding of their requirements.

How do you hope to develop your role in the coming months and years?

I aim to continue to support, and be a role model for, our newest members of staff and also to help shape future policy within the firm as a member of our Women’s Equality Employee Network.

What has been your standout moment at Workman so far?

There have been a few! I think one that stays with me is being part of the team that set up Workman Retail & Leisure in 2006. There were only six of us at the time; I was still quite junior, and it was exciting that I was being included in something quite important. The team has now grown to more than 90 – not something I would have imagined at the time – and I’m still proud to be a part of it.

As a member of Workman’s Women’s Equality Employee Network, what difference do you believe it, and others like it, can make to the industry as a whole?

I’ve been working in the industry for 20 years now, and while it is encouraging that the current chief executives of the British Property Federation (BPF), President of the RICS, and of the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) are all female (and our own Vicky Cotton is Chair of the Better Buildings Partnership’s Managing Agents Partnerships); I hope groups like our own Women’s Equality Network can help support more women to take, and continue to hold, senior roles both in the firm and the industry as a whole.

What more could the property industry be doing to make change happen for women and those that identify as female?

The changes made to flexible working in the last few years have been invaluable, but I think more could be done to ensure that women feel supported in juggling their various responsibilities and the challenges that they face in relation to women’s health – something of a taboo subject until very recent years.

This in turn will hopefully lead to more balance within the industry and more females feeling confident in taking senior roles.

What change would you make to the wider property sector, and why?

A review of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. This is now nearly 70 years old and parts are overly complicated and quite bureaucratic.

An awful lot has changed since its enactment and hopefully the announcement earlier this year that the Law Commission is undertaking such a review will result in changes that reflect modern times.

What first led you into the property industry?

My Dad. He was an Investment Manager at The Co-Operative Insurance Society and a Fellow of the RICS. He once took me with him to visit a couple of properties the Society were interested in purchasing, so I had an awareness of the industry at an early age. That being said, I didn’t do a property-related degree as I wanted to keep my options open.

What are your spare time pursuits and how do they feed into your role at Workman?

I used to scuba dive, which involves lots of organisational skills and teamwork. Now I’m older and have more responsibilities at home, I practice yoga which helps me to keep calm and focus my mind.

What is your favourite building worldwide, and why?

Sainte Chapelle in Paris… She is Notre Dame’s little sister! I lived in Paris while studying for my degree and although Sainte Chapelle is much smaller the architecture is still extremely impressive and the stained glass is beautiful, especially at sunset.

What three dinner party guests would you choose and why?

The late Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid DBE RA – an Iraqi-British architect, artist and designer, who was recognised as a major figure in architecture of the late-20th and early-21st centuries, she was as inspirational woman in the world of architecture and property.

Tony Wilson – known to Mancunians as “Mr Manchester” – he was a co-founder of the independent label Factory Records and founder-manager of the Haçienda nightclub, as well as a radio and TV presenter and journalist for Granada Television, the BBC and Channel 4.

Simon Reeve – author, journalist, adventurer, producer of global travel and environmental documentaries, and author of books on international terrorism, modern history, and his adventures – to discuss travel and the wider world.