Jane Henshaw

Jane is wearing our Chartwell Top in Red Jacquard, £155 (above) (Now available in Navy and Grey Boucle

Describe your job in a few lines?

I’m responsible for all of Cadogan’s development projects.  We have a budget of £500m to spend over the next 5 years on construction and development within the portfolio.  We currently have 64 projects spanning from residential development to hotels such as the refurbishment of the Cadogan hotel on Sloane street and the hotel operated by John Louis Costes, 1 Sloane Gardens.

How did you end up here? 

I was profiled when I was at school and my careers master suggested I follow this path, so I went ahead and did it. I ended up studying building surveying at Liverpool polytechnic, I still see him now - he always says I did so well because it was exactly the right career for me.

About 3 or 4 years ago I heard about Cadogan through a recruitment consultant. I liked the people, the history and longevity of the estate and the absolute integrity of what they do.

Tell me more about your working day?

A typical day is planned around meetings. I might sit down with the chief executive in the morning to update him on the status of projects followed by meetings with architects, project managers, quantity surveyors and the Royal borough of Kensington & Chelsea planners to check where we are with each site. 

Today I am working on a valuation of the entire estate which as you can imagine is a huge process. This afternoon I have a meeting with a large British supermarket to go through the details of their new lease which is hundreds of pages long.

I quite often visit our projects with the compulsory high visibility jacket and hard hat necessary in our industry. As much as I enjoy being on site I try not to spend too much of my day there as its very time consuming.

Jane is wearing our Matilda Dress in Pomerol Red, £198, (Left) and our Langham Dress in Green, £169, (Right).

What are your career highs and lows? 

My career high so far was securing my appointment with Cadogan because of being based in Chelsea and the prospect of working on such prestigious projects.

My career low happened soon after qualifying, as I realised that I would be working largely in a male dominated industry. It was the first time the hard reality hit home.

What qualities do you think secured your current job?

I am loyal, determined and straight forward and I like being part of a wider team and I really enjoy seeing development schemes come together and being built. I also have a really good eye for detail, which is important when involved with architecture and design.

I will on occasion have many sleepless nights over projects until I have got to the right solution, for me there is no compromising. I am determined, single minded and meticulous about quality.

What do you look for in new team members?

We use profiling to assist with recruitment. It is so important that everyone has a role where they can excel at what they can do, because that way, work is a pleasure.

What do you think your own weaknesses are?

I know I sometimes need to do things in a softer way. By having a good team around me, I can seek their views. I value their opinion in how I can approach things differently.

What piece of career advice would you give your 20 year old self?

Draw deep, be as much of yourself as you can be.

Describe your usual work style?

A great coat, good bag and stylish flats for the commute. I wear a lot of navy and black, quite often together, and I like fabrics that don’t crease. 

What's been your worst office faux pas?

Wearing skirts on site visits and then finding I need to climb ladders.

Should Office wear be fashionable or functional?

It depends on where you work but for me it has to be conservative, and not a distraction.

What’s your fantasy alternative job?

An Artist.  My dream job is to publish a children’s book.

How do you keep a work life balance?

A life full of friends and family definitely helps, as well as regular holidays. 

What are your favourite LIBBY pieces?

The Petworth Coat (pictured right) is beautiful, I like the texture and the weight of the fabric, as well as the fact that it’s totally anti-static (Static always bothers me as I wear tights a lot). Its classic and understated with an excellent fit.

I love the pomerol red Matilda wrap dress, I have to feel quite confident to wear red and it has to be the right red which this is, although I wouldn’t wear red on a Monday normally! I tend to ease into the week in more gentle colours. 

I love the red jacquard Chartwell top and matching Suzy skirt. Separates are good for my shape as I’m a different size top and bottom but this looks like a dress when worn together.

What do you look for in people when your interviewing them?

100% well polished, man or women they have to be immaculate. Your outward appearance is indicative of how you see yourself. On the one hand you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you’re often right when you do.

Jane is wearing our Matilda dress in Pomerol red £198 (Right)




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