8 March, 2024
Empowering Voices: A Journey of Inclusion and Leadership for International Women’s Day 2024 with Beth Graham
For International Women’s Day 2024, the theme is ‘Inspire Inclusion.’ We sat down with one of our most recently appointed female partners within the business, Beth Graham, to discuss her journey to recently becoming a partner, her business experience and how she inspires inclusion among people within the Maris Interiors team.

Q: Can you please introduce yourself and share your role at Maris Interiors and how long you’ve been with the company?

A: My name is Beth Graham, and I’ve been with Maris Interiors for eight and a half years. Currently, I serve as one of the Business Development Directors and now a Partner at Maris, overseeing various projects and initiatives.

Q: Can you walk us through your journey at Maris, from your initial role to where you are now?

A: I started in one of the junior roles within our Business Development team, primarily focused on lead generation. Over time, I transitioned into a hybrid role where I would be on the phones and going out and meeting agent, project managers that the business worked with, building relationships, and finding new business. Through dedication and hard work, I’ve grown into my current position over the last few years.

Q: What were some of the milestones or challenges you encountered along the way?

A: When I was younger, I think although my knowledge was there, and my capabilities were there, because I was a young looking female, I wasn’t always taken seriously by necessarily men in the industry. I just made sure my knowledge was always bulletproof. I was so overprepared for every meeting and I would make sure people walked away from every meeting going, wow she knows her stuff.

Q: How do you believe your experiences and perspectives as a female leader have contributed to the success of the business?

A: I think naturally a lot of females will have a different perspective from men within the industry and ultimately that the diversity of perspective means that you can put in place a brilliant strategy. My experiences bring a unique viewpoint to the table. This diversity allows us to develop innovative strategies and provide exceptional service to our clients.

Q: What factors do you think enabled you to reach your current position?

A: Resilience, determination, you’ve got to have a thick skin. However the unwavering support of my team around me when I started quite junior, I never ever felt like there was a difference between me and them because I was a female. I always felt really included, really encouraged. I think without that boost of confidence I probably wouldn’t have been where I am now.

Q: The theme of International Women’s Day this year is “Inspire Inclusion.” What does that mean to you, and how do you put it into action?

A: Inspiring inclusion means ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard and valued, regardless of their gender or background. In practice, this involves actively listening to team members, encouraging diverse perspectives, and fostering an environment where everyone feels included. The whole business can do that and the whole industry can do that.

Q: What advice do you have for other women aspiring to leadership roles in the industry?

A: Reach out to other females, internal or external. Some of my best advice has been from my female peers, whether it be within construction, agencies or project management and hear of their shared experiences because it will give you a whole new perspective o yours. You aren’t the only one going through some sticky situation at work and it’s probably not as bad as you think.

Q: What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned about leadership, teamwork, and resilience?

A: One of the most significant lessons I’ve learned is the importance of speaking up and asserting oneself, especially in male-dominated environments. One of my lessons, I didn’t make my voice loud enough and afterwards I learned the hard way. I didn’t make my voice loud enough for what I believed in and didn’t trust the fact that I’m good at what I do, I’m professional and I have good knowledge. Now if someone doesn’t listen, I will go back and make sure they do.

Q: How do you encourage and support other women in your workplace?

A: When I first started, I was the only female in our team. Now, our team must be at least 40% women, which is amazing for the culture, for the quality of work we are doing, for the diversity of opinion. I see these younger females coming through, I didn’t have that person to look up to. It’s a lot of the small things, ‘how are you getting on’, ‘where do you want to be?’, ‘how can I help you?’. It is making sure people see that they can progress, and I think that can be done by small things every day.

In celebrating International Women’s Day 2024 with the theme of ‘Inspire Inclusion,’ our discussions with two recently promoted female Partners, Beth Graham, and Catherine Rouse, have shed light on their remarkable journeys within Maris Interiors and their efforts to foster inclusion within our team. Beth and Catherine’s stories serve as a testament to the power of inclusivity in driving success. Their leadership and contributions have paved the way for a more inclusive environment within Maris Interiors, where diverse perspectives are celebrated and valued. With more female leaders emerging within our team, we are committed to fostering an environment where everyone can thrive.