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REIQ Journal : March 2010
Before the Second World War, very few women participated in any form of commerce or industry in Australia. Fast forward more than 50 years, and women are now a major part of the Australian workforce and the real estate profession. BEFORE THE WAR the 'place' for a woman was thought to be in the home; to be a housewife and responsible fo looking after the children. The term 'woman' usually referred to a wife and the husband was the sole breadwinner. After 1939, suddenly women entered the workforce. It was a situation born out of necessity but it changed the demography of the Australian workforce, and industries such as real estate, forever. In the 1950's, less than 20 per cent of the population in Queensland's workforce were women. By the early 1980's a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed women made up almost 39 per cent of the Queensland real estate industry. This trend continued and it is estimated that about half of the industry's sales personnel are now female. But it took many years for women to become an integral part of Queensland real estate. One of the pioneers was Elizabeth Bailey -- reportedly the rst female member of the REIQ - who had an o ce in Toowong more than 50 years ago. Similarly, Gail Havig, former principal of Havig and Jackson in the Brisbane suburb of Clay eld, has more than 30 years' experience in the industry. Gail was interviewed for the book Deeds, Dreams & Dedication: A history of the REIQ and re ected on what is was like being a woman in real estate when she rst began. Having moved to Brisbane after 18 years living in a small mining town near Rockhampton, Gail took a job in real estate. She was the rst sales woman employed by the company and worked successfully in the industry for a number of years before starting her own agency in 1984. But back then, Gail soon discovered that there were some prejudices and bias within the real estate community. "When I started my agency it was considered by some an abomination," Gail remembered. From pio moder REIQ Journal March 2010