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Last night I left my office at 6pm after a fairly intense day dealing with multiple offers on a listing of mine which was being sold under fairly stressful conditions on the Seller’s part. I was close to securing a contract but the deal was still not completed and it was playing on my mind. As I hurried out the back door a male colleague said “good bye”. I said my goodbyes in return and then quickly added “off to my other job now”. As a working mum, I was heading straight to the supermarket to grab some groceries before going home to cook dinner for my family, followed by doing the dishes, cleaning up around the house, reading with my primary school aged son, making lunches for the next day, doing a load of washing and then finally getting back on to my computer to respond to more emails and complete some other work tasks that had to be dealt with before the following day.
I often wonder how nice it would be to get home and have all of the domestic jobs taken care of. However, when faced with the decision about whether to return to work after having my son, I soon realised that for me, the positives of juggling motherhood and paid work outweigh the negatives. Sure, being a working mum means little time for housework and R’n’R, but having a professional position is an important part of my identity and the challenges it presents help me to continue to learn and grow as a person.
Part of what originally attracted me to my job as a sales agent is the flexibility it offers with where and when work is performed. This allows me to juggle everything in my life to suit and is certainly not possible in most other types of employment. The other big plus is that there is no ceiling to what one can achieve as each individual is responsible for the amount of business that they write. As a real estate sales representative I only get paid commission when I successfully sell properties for clients, but this also means I can take charge as to what income I earn.
I am thankful that society has changed since I was a kid growing up in the 1970s, which was still a time when traditionally women stepped down from their jobs once the time came to raise a family. My generation has indeed seen a big shift in expectations and experienced the benefit of many women being able to complete tertiary education beyond high school and maintain professional careers for as long as they choose to after having children.
Despite women having equal education opportunities to men these days, if you look at the Gender Gap statistics on the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency website it shows that in Australia women earn on average $242.90 per week less than men, based on a comparison of full-time average weekly earnings between the two sexes. In fact, WA has the highest gender gap by state and territory in Australia, being at 22.1% (ie women in WA earn 22.1% less than men in WA, based on the full-time average weekly earnings).
There are many contributing reasons as to why the gender gap is the way it is. What I find interesting is that despite these factors still applying, in the majority of Albany real estate offices the top performing sales representatives, and so therefore the highest income earners, are females. There are significantly more males working as sales representatives in real estate than females in Albany, however it appears as though the women are leading the way, at least in my local community.
This proves that real estate sales is certainly a career path available to women where the playing field is about as level as it can be. Despite the responsibilities that women and men both have outside of the workplace, the sky is the limit as to what can be achieved in this particular industry.