We are incredibly encouraged by the response to our Open Plan Diversity Charter. See which organisations I-P have signed up.
23. Iceni Projects = Ian Anderson, executive director: “Signing the charter is the right thing to do, and the surprise is that the industry hasn’t done this before. It is an excellent idea, and Iceni will be fully supportive of the initiative.”
24. Irwin Mitchell = Jo Footitt, partner: “Diversity is a huge concern in the property industry, which lags behind other City businesses.”
25. James Andrew International = Jeremy Grey, MD: “We have a diverse workforce and a non-discriminatory employment process. We have two subsidiaries run by women and a diverse workforce in each office. We operate a meritocracy and encourage all staff to progress their careers.”
26. JLL = Guy Grainger, UK CEO: “As a founding member of the diversity and inclusion initiative Changing the Face of Property, launched in 2012, we recognise that the 10 points in this charter align with JLL’s objectives to ensure inclusivity becomes a core part of our culture.”
27. Knight Frank = Sally Chacatté, group head of HR: “We are fully committed to the Diversity Charter. We were instrumental in setting up Changing the Face of Property with our competitors and look forward to doing just that in the coming years.”
28. Lambert Smith Hampton = Alana Armstrong, HR business partner: “We are a progressive and dynamic firm and we recognise that each LSH employee has a unique set of strengths, skills and experiences and only by embracing these strengths and differences can we deliver the best possible service to our clients.”
29. Liz Male Consulting = Liz Male, director: ”The property industry has always been more about people than assets, architecture, construction or finance. We are an industry full of smart, vibrant and colourful characters, and the thought of more diverse people still to be celebrated fills me with joy. We’ll all be the happier for it, and richer in every way.”
30. London Legacy Development Corporation = Rosanna Lawes, executive director of development: “The sector needs to embrace the opportunity and will be far better for it..”
Unconscious Bias in Focus
Why are the ‘best’ job candidates overwhelmingly white and male? The experts call this unconscious, or cognitive, bias; our personal assessment of what constitutes the ‘best’ candidate is influenced by the internal wiring of our brains. Of course, on occasion it could just be prejudice, but either way awareness is the starting point for doing something about it.
There are some startling examples of unconscious bias. For example, a 2009 study by the Department for Work and Pensions found that when sending out fake CVs of candidates with identical qualifications and experience to a range of employers, the candidates with the white British-sounding names received a positive response on one in nine occasions. For ethnic minority names, the rate was one in 16.
And this unconscious bias also leads to some of the more familiar headlines such as the 28% gender pay gap revealed by the most recent Property Week salary survey.
31. Make = Ken Shuttleworth, founding partner: “We believe that having a diverse practice brings value to our employees, clients and working environment. A culturally and socially diverse workforce broadens our ability to find the right solutions on projects, which fundamentally improves the service we offer our clients. Ultimately, diversity helps us create an inclusive environment that fosters honesty, mutual respect and openness among employees.”
32. MHBC = Antonia Belcher, partner: “We are signing up because on any measure we are a very diverse SME, and have been since the first day of our formation in 2007. We believe strenuously in the power of being inclusive, and have practised the charter principles from our inception.”
33. Nabarro = Ciaran Carvalho, head of real estate: “Diversity is not only important for our people; it makes business sense too. We recognise that employees from different backgrounds bring different perspectives, new ideas and connections to clients who are increasingly diverse and global. We could and should be doing more, of course. That’s why signing up to the Diversity Charter is an important next step for us.”
34. Osborne Clarke = Suzanne Nethaway, senior associate, real estate team: “Osborne Clarke is continuing its very real and serious journey towards becoming a more diverse organisation. We recently welcomed our first dedicated diversity and wellbeing manager and we have established a network of diversity and wellbeing ambassadors throughout the business.”
35. Page Group = Roberta Barlow, operating director, property and construction: “We’re committed to promoting inclusion at work and to continually improving our own working environment. We’re determined to lead the way on inclusion within the recruitment industry and work closely with our clients sourcing and recruiting from a truly diverse talent pool in order to support their diversity strategies and provide them with the best possible candidates.”
36. PLP Architecture = Lee Polisano, president: “We believe that diversity is an essential ingredient to any successful business.”
37. PwC = Craig Hughes, head of real estate: “We need to truly value the difference in perspective, thinking and skills that a diverse workforce can add to our businesses and we wholeheartedly support Property Week’s commitment to spearhead change in the industry.”
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.