Rising recognition: The benefits of building a diverse workforce in real estate

Diversity and inclusion are high on the agenda in the real estate sector. Deloitte found that 46% of real estate firms report being focussed on increasing diversity in hiring, development and leadership. Businesses are much more aware of the numerous benefits of encouraging and supporting diversity in the workplace, not least of which include increased productivity, and greater profitability.

There are also many benefits that, though less tangible from a business perspective, are just as important, such as improved employee morale, greater creativity and innovation and an improved reputation for your business among employees and clients. However, there is still a long way to go to increase diversity and inclusion in the real estate industry.

The position of women in real estate

Only 30% of senior leadership positions in commercial real estate are occupied by women in the UK. And the discrepancy in pay between men and women remains high. Research by the UK government showed that women in commercial real estate experience a 27% pay gap, almost twice as large as the national average.

Many women in the industry find it difficult to be recognised for their achievements or find the support and encouragement needed to advance to senior leadership. This situation is even more difficult for women of colour.

What is diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are two interconnected parts of a wider organisational strategy for improving representation of groups that are traditionally under-represented in the workplace.

Diversity refers to a wide range of different people-oriented factors such as race, gender, religion, socio-economic background, professional background, physical ability, cognitive behaviour and much more. From a recruitment perspective it refers to the efforts by which the numbers of people from different backgrounds are increased. For example, hiring practices that actively seek to target a wide range of people. But diversity on its own is not enough.

Inclusion refers to the practices that make people feel welcomed, their contributions valued and empowered to work to the best of their ability.

5 benefits of diversity in the workplace

So, why should the real estate industry make diversity and inclusion a priority? What are the benefits of building diverse teams for your business?

  1.  Better decision making
    Diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions thanks to wider perspectives, greater creativity and a broader range of skills available to them. Not only are the decisions they make better for business, but they reach those decisions more quickly too, up to 2x faster than non-diverse teams.
  2. Better talent retention
    Inclusive and welcoming workplace cultures lead to 22% lower turnover rates and better retention of talent. Which improves employee morale, means employees are more engaged and committed to your business and reduces your hiring costs.
  3. Greater productivity and profitability
    Diversity also brings businesses a competitive advantage and increasing returns. Those companies who score highly for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors and those with gender-diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to be more profitable than their rivals.
  4. Improved reputation and employer brand
    Those companies that build diversity and inclusion into their culture are more attractive to talented employees, 47% of millennials actively look for companies that prioritise diversity when job seeking. Working to improve diversity also positively impacts your reputation with clients, customers, and employees.
  5. Healthier, more engaged employees
    83% of millennials report feeling more engaged when working in a diverse and inclusive culture. Employees that feel engaged, supported, and included at work are more likely to make healthier decisions and have a greater sense of well-being, reducing time lost to sickness and improving productivity.

How Foundation Recruitment can help you build a more diverse and inclusive team

At Foundation Recruitment, we know that D&I is more than a vision or mission statement. We understand the importance and the benefits of putting D&I at the forefront of your business and are strongly placed to assist you in achieving successful hiring outcomes.

We have recently been ranked #1 in the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) annual report for talent inclusion and diversity evaluation in the recruitment industry. If you’d like to discuss how to promote diversity in your organisation, we’d love to hear from you.

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