LAUNCHING:
ZOE JOHNSTON

Company:

JLL

THE BIG QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

National Director

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

To put it simply I buy and sell retail properties and manage client relationships across Europe.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?

I probably started off wanting to be a ballerina, but turns out I’m totally inflexible! Then probably a doctor – I was always into Maths and Science. I discovered real estate by chance when I got an internship in Paris with King Sturge during my 3rd year abroad of University.

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

  • Diploma from Sorbonne University, Paris France

  • Diploma from Salamanca University, Spain

  • BA (Hons) in French & Spanish

  • MSc in Real Estate Management

  • Professional Qualification MRICS – Chartered Surveyor

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

Create your own opportunities, don’t let anyone else push you down a path that you don’t want to go down.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

My Mum – my best friend, mother, career women, general hilarious legend and superwoman. She is a trained teacher, worked for a big corporate and has set up several successful businesses herself, an extremely resilient woman and a resourceful example to us all.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

The day-to-day variety, travel opportunity and range of people from different nationalities and cultures that I deal with.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Perfectly balancing a family life, children and an amazing career… Haha – dream big!

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

To an extent yes – but I am probably more subdued and focused at work so my true personality may not shine through all the time.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

The Capital Markets world in real estate is very male dominated. There are a couple of female directors in my team, but no one more senior than me. There are no real role models to look up to who have managed to get the balance right yet. Generally the senior management at JLL is very male, but there is a big push to try and change this. Diversity and equality is very high on the corporate agenda.

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

It does, but I don’t believe in quota filling. Everyone should be promoted or employed based on merit, regardless of age, gender, race or sexual orientation. In terms of retaining talented females at a senior level, I believe there are ways of facilitating this that have not been fully implemented or explored yet.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

It is pretty good – I have always been a work hard play hard type of person. I work efficiently and have never been in a team where “face time” was important. As long as you get results then my bosses generally seem to be happy!

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

Experience in your field, dedication, organisation, personable, good presentation skills, well connected.

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