Celebrating International Women’s Day – Part Two.

Original Article
March 10th, 2023


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Continuing on from part one of our International Women’s Day celebrations for the week, we’re delving into the careers and accomplishments of the Sava women leading the way in technical roles within the property industry. In part two of our International Women’s Day blog, we meet Sava colleagues Anne Hinds and Dr Lisa Blake.

Anne Hinds, Lead Internal Quality Assurer

Anne officially joined Sava in October 2021 as Lead Internal Quality Assurer; however, she’s certainly not new to the company having been an assessor for our courses for the past 20 years. Anne’s role includes ensuring consistency across the assessment team as well as using her expertise to train and support new assessors.

Anne’s journey into the world of surveying started purely by accident, as she explains:

“I didn’t quite get the A-Level results I expected, so I changed courses at university to something surveying related. I have always loved buildings so it was a very happy accident.

“I started off in the industrial and commercial sector as a Chartered Surveyor and then went into residential where, in my opinion, the buildings are much more interesting. I got involved in training and assessing to promote better standards and pass on my knowledge, and the rest is history.”

We asked Anne what she loves most about working in a technical role.

“I love sharing my knowledge with other surveyors, and you never stop learning. You think you understand how a building is put together and then find out materials have changed or someone has put their own ‘spin on it’.

“It never ceases to amaze me the things people do to their properties – my favourite recently was a static mobile home with an extension. They had attached a shed and turned it into another bedroom!

“There have also been some unique moments in my surveying career such as when I used my expertise as a property professional to give evidence in the criminal court to a team of 17 barristers.”

To those looking to enter technical roles in property, Anne’s thoughts are clear:

“Yes, you will get ‘your hands dirty’ but it will be fun. Remember, you can do whatever you want to do.”

Meet Dr Lisa Blake, Head of Technical (Energy)

Lisa joined the Sava team in 2006 where she runs the Research and Delivery Team focused on Sava Intelligent Energy and SAP/RdSAP.

After leaving school with only a few qualifications, Lisa discovered physics at the age of 25 kickstarting her technical career.

“I went back and did my GCSEs and A-Levels, went on to do a physics degree at Kings College London, and from there went on to do a PhD in astrophysics. I came across Sava who are in the field of energy efficiency, so it’s building physics and a lot of maths. I started at the bottom and worked my way up.”

One of the things Lisa loves about her technical role is its investigative nature, as she explains:

“Every day is different. From my point of view, our software has a lot of physics and equations in it, which I really enjoy, and there is a lot of problem solving. So, when software doesn’t work you’ve got to delve in there and work out why it doesn’t work.

“Even writing a user guide can be interesting because you have to think ‘I understand what’s going on under the hood, but how do I put this in words our users will understand?’ It makes you think of things in a different way.”

When asked what advice she’d give to women and girls looking to pursue a technical career, Lisa said:

“I personally have never come across any prejudice through my career in technology. To anyone I would say, if it’s something you want to do then do it. Don’t worry if there are any stereotypes in the field you want to go into, do what you want to do and make sure you enjoy it.”

To find out more about the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation, our vocational route into the surveying profession, visit our residential surveying page. Alternatively, to discover how Sava Intelligent Energy is helping social housing providers to analyse the energy efficiency of their housing stock, improve data and build improvement plans to achieve Net Zero targets, visit our Total Zero Carbon page.