A construction and engineering solicitor from leading commercial law firm Thrings has been elected Chair of the Association of Women in Property (WiP) in the South West.
Natalia Sokolov, who specialises in construction procurement projects and engineering disputes, will assume responsibility for the strategic direction of the South West branch of WiP, the national organisation that seeks to enhance the profile of women in the property and construction industry sectors.
During her 12-month tenure, Natalia will manage a programme of more than 30 diverse and high-quality events in Bristol, Bath, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall for WiP South West’s 151 members. This will include networking meetings, site visits, professional/CPD seminars, educational events and sporting fixtures.
Natalia will also oversee WiP’s annual summer drinks party in July and Christmas dinner in December. Last year, both events attracted more than 100 construction and property industry professionals from across the region.
Membership numbers at WiP South West – which include professionals from multi-national construction companies, cost consultants, architects and designers, property developers, housebuilders, engineers, planners and legal and financial specialists – grew by 17 per cent last year.
Natalia said: “Women in Property has been supporting women working in the property and construction sector for nearly 30 years, promoting networking, mentoring and professional development. WiP is a great advocate of diversity, and works hard to help senior management address diversity issues and less experienced members realise their potential.
“In the past year, membership numbers of WiP in the South West have increased significantly and as an organisation, we remain focused on motivating, inspiring and encouraging more women to consider a career in property.”
Natalia is one of three members of Thrings’ commercial property team at WiP South West, with fellow solicitor Naomi Butler holding the positions of joint committee secretary and joint student awards coordinator, and Rosalyn Trotman recently becoming joint events coordinator.
Warren Reid, head of commercial property at Thrings, added: “Natalia has been an active and dedicated member of WiP for a number of years, during which time she has been able to build lasting relationships with industry colleagues and add further depth to her knowledge of the construction and commercial property sectors.
“Thrings recognises the significant benefits that getting out into the market and spending time with clients and peers can have for its solicitors, and actively encourages them to develop close working relationships with reputable independent professional organisations. Natalia is one such example of this, and under her stewardship, WiP South West’s members can look forward to a successful and exciting year.”
Pictured above: Construction and engineering solicitor Natalia Sokolov of Thrings