Property Week launched its Diversity Charter in April 2016 and has since seen a phenomenal 53 companies and organisations sign up - see the list R-Z.
38. Redwood Consulting = Kate Bourne, MD: “Redwood Consulting is committed to having the best people with different perspectives and experiences working at our firm so that we have a culture that empowers them to meet their full potential.”
39. RGB Recruitment = Tanya Loosemore, director: “We believe in promoting, encouraging and actioning diversity, not only in our workplace but in the workplaces of our many construction and property clients across the UK.”
40. RICS Kim Worts, external affairs director: “Property Week has been prominent for the past year in the work to increase the diversity of the property sector. Real change can be delivered only if we all monitor where we are now – and set our sights on a better future. With this in mind, we urge you to sign up to the Diversity Charter, which is paving the way for the RICS Inclusive Employer Quality Mark. Change will not happen overnight, but we need firms to commit to the journey with us.”
41. Royal London = Matthew Bird, senior project manager: “We’re signing up to the Diversity Charter because I have close links to a number of minority groups who are poorly treated by the wider community.”
42. Savills = Noel McGonigle, HR director: “Savills is a diverse business, and we are committed to ensuring that the ways we work fairly support the diverse people who want to, or currently, work with us.”
Savils Case Study
Savills invited 10 students from inner-city and state schools across London to participate in the firm’s third Insight Week. It was the first time that Savills had invited school children to take part – previously it was designed for first-year university students interested in the graduate scheme.
The initiative was designed to address the fact that more young people are deciding to gain their degrees at the same time as working, thereby avoiding debt and learning on the job.
The students, who are in years 12 and 13, spent the week at Savills’ Margaret Street HQ shadowing apprentices in teams including valuations and property management.
The idea was to give young people interested in a career in property an opportunity to experience first hand what being an apprentice actually entails.
Participants also heard talks from leaders throughout the business on what it’s like to work in the property industry. “It’s an initiative we are very proud of,” says Ema Saunders, director of people development at the firm.
“In the past, the property industry may not have seemed like an option for everyone, but we want to make sure that regardless of background people have the opportunity to see the possibilities for themselves.”
43. Second Home = Rohan Silva, co-founder: “In every industry, more diversity means more fresh ideas, more new perspectives and more insights that lead to better financial performance. Property is no different, which is why this brilliant initiative is so critically important.”
44. Shepherd and Wedderburn = Carole Ritchie, HR director: “We’ve always had a commitment to diversity, but last year we pulled together a campaign across the company because we believe that the more diverse our team the higher the quality of service we will provide to clients.”
45. Sociable Surveyors = Sebastian Abigail, co-founder: “As the only all expenses-paid global internship scheme in the industry, we are committed to improving diversity. We are passionate about allowing equal access to the industry to talent.”
46. Stanhope = Charles Walford, director: “Stanhope is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce, attracting new people to the industry from under-represented groups, flexible working and an inclusive culture.”
47. Teamspirit = Natalie Orringe, deputy MD: “The property sector is constantly evolving, creating opportunities that can be realised only by an agile, flexible workforce. Diversity is at the heart of meeting this challenge.”
48. Tibbalds = Sue Rowlands, director: “To be a truly creative consultancy, Tibbalds needs the range of ideas, opinions and solutions that a diverse workforce brings to each and every project.”
49. Tuffin Ferraby Taylor = Chris Keates Lewis, HR & operations partner: “Property Week is well placed to engage in raising the standards of inclusivity and opportunity for all. Diversity enables an intelligent balance in business.”
50. Wedlake Bell = Natalie King, head of HR: “We are proud of what we have achieved, in particular our culture of encouraging women to rise to the top of our firm and supporting them to stay in the law throughout their careers.”
51. Wells Fargo = Jessica Henning, vice-president, commercial real estate UK: “Wells Fargo aims to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive culture for all team members across all business lines.”
52. Women in Property = Lisa-Jane Risk, chairman: “WiP has been promoting diversity for 30 years, but it is only in the past two or three that the issue has been taken seriously. That is why we are such staunch supporters of this campaign.”
53. Zaman Roberts = Rehan Zaman, founding partner: “We are a two-man niche investment practice, so cannot change the industry. However, we would like to be part of the dialogue as we consider the real estate industry to be a long way behind other professions in terms of diversity.”
The Open Plan Diversity Charter
- We will monitor diversity in our workplace and provide Property Week with data and information on company policies designed to support a more diverse workforce.
- We will share resources, including best-practice guides and case studies, with other signatories via Property Week’s Diversity Charter online portal.
- We will strive to appoint senior ‘diversity champions’ within our organisation to act as the main contact with Property Week on matters relating to the charter.
- We will provide mentoring to support employees’ career development, both at entry level and mid-career.
- We will endeavour to work with at least one state senior school in each town or city in which we operate to promote careers in the built environment to young people from diverse backgrounds.
- Where possible, we will offer – and advertise externally – paid internships and apprenticeships.
- We will use a blind recruitment process where appropriate to prevent unconscious bias in the shortlisting process.
- We will enforce a zero-tolerance policy on homophobia, sexism, ageism and any other form of discrimination and encourage employees to report instances of prejudice to the diversity champions.
- We will ensure all our buildings are fully accessible and provide appropriate equipment and support to allow employees with disabilities to play a full role in the workplace.
- We will make diversity a key criterion when procuring services from other companies to help ensure the example we set is followed by others.