The campaign theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Press for Progress’ in order to assist the global momentum for gender parity. The campaign includes a strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.
The property industry has long since been regarded as a male dominated industry but it’s clear that situation is changing and attitudes to gender parity with it. I attended a diversity event organised recently by the British Property Federation and Revo which was a great success, not least because of the calibre, seniority and diversity of those attending.
Robert Noel talked about Landsec’s work in this area and they are showcasing the success of women in their organisation
to great effect. Brian Bickell, the chief executive of Shaftesbury did the same from his perspective and it’s interesting to see that his organisation is involved in organising a series of events in the West End to celebrate International Women’s Day
The passion with which these two senior property figures, amongst several other women and men on the day, talked about diversity issues was palpable and I came away with the feeling that the property industry might have turned a very big and important corner. With leadership being provided in this way more will definitely follow.
The event was supported by various other organisations including Freehold, Pathways to Property, Real Estate Balance and Purple, all of whom are entirely property based with the exception of Purple which reaches out more widely. Together these organisations deal with many aspects of diversity: from the LGBT+ community (Freehold) and gender diversity (Real Estate Balance) to the disabled community (Purple) and younger people (Pathways to Property).
Real Estate Balance is particularly noteworthy for this blog and also for us at Lichfields as we continue with our efforts to encourage more women into senior positions within the company. The Real Estate Balance website
reveals the support its now receiving from lots of big names in the property industry. In return the organisation provides quality networking and training opportunities in order to spread the word and put like-minded property people together.
At Lichfields we enjoy a near even split between women (52%) and men (48%). We have equal pay but a gender pay gap because we have lots more men than women at senior levels in the company. The increased awareness across the property industry to diversity issues will give us a fresh impetus in our endeavours to reduce that gap.
The women in our company are critical to its operation and success. To name but a few, Nicola Woodward heads up our Edinburgh office; Margaret Baddeley has been recognised as a leading figure in the property industry; one of the most experienced figures in the property industry, Kay Chaldecott, is on our board; and Nicki Mableson and Pauline Roberts are spearheading growth in specialist areas and new markets for our business. There are 112 other women contributing to our success.
We all look forward to more women playing an even more important contribution to the growth and prosperity of our company in the future. We are united and motivated in our aim to support the aims and objectives of International Women’s Day and the diversity agenda more generally.