Vivian Acquah, founder of Amplify DEI and wellness and workplace advocate at Viva la Vive, on how she got started in property, the celebrity she’d most like to meet and the historical figure she’d choose as a friend.

Vivian Acquah

Vivian Acquah

How did you join the property industry?

My background is in commercial property, but I have moved to the people side, working with property companies to address their diversity and inclusion behaviours.

What does your job entail?

As an inclusive workplace wellness advocate, I make topics related to workplace wellness and DEI accessible to everyone. I provide employers and employees with the right tools at the right time to embrace inclusive changes that benefit the business and its team.

What do you like most about the property industry?

It is the most tangible way to transform an individual’s life – each development has the opportunity to enhance a neighbourhood and those using its spaces, whether it’s a home, retail or commercial space.

And what do you dislike most about it?

The property industry has a huge diversity problem, and a team that is not diverse or inclusive is a team that brings forward a flawed product – because it forgets the ways in which other people may live, neglecting other perspectives and lived experiences.

What would you change about the property industry?

I would unlock empathy as this would have transformative impacts in the sector. The industry is tackling a number of huge challenges from climate change to talent retention, not to mention a growing cost-of-living crisis and looming energy shortages. If we think about others, we’ll find solutions, such as using environmentally friendly materials, supporting communal transport solutions and developing training programmes within the communities in which we build.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

I have experienced a number of different ‘isms’ in the workplace being both a proud black woman and more recently a mother. These hurdles haven’t just made pushing the door harder, but once open, being questioned about why I am there and hosting the burden of future diversity on my shoulders. What people forget is that you may be an ethnic minority in the room but you represent the global majority in changing the fixed mindset.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud to be doing my best to push the dial on diversity. I know I am making a tangible difference in business to help people actualise an environment that supports ‘others’ because when you change one mindset, it has a domino effect and that confidence is infectious.

What do you value in people?

We are all fallible; this is what we have in common, but what I value in people is their acknowledgement of this fact and their being happy to learn, challenge and be vulnerable.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

Find a mentor within the organisation or within the industry to support your career growth. Join networks such as BAME in Property, Women in Planning and Women in Property.