How can we narrow the gender gap in commercial real estate?

There is a lot of discussion across all industries about gender salary bias with stats being released in the press showing a clear gender wage gap. The figures we are being exposed to don’t make good reading, however, there is positivity behind the headlines…

With salaries being released and company information being accessible by the public, the pay gap problem has become universally known and most importantly, and disappointingly, become a fact rather than suspicion. Within the Real Estate industry this is no different and it has been reported that the gender pay gap in UK commercial real estate is almost twice as large as the national corporate average. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. This awareness has led to organisations, campaigns and initiatives being implemented to combat the imbalance and make sure the future workforce is diversified with equal opportunities and equal pay.

To stop the gender wage gap, we need to encourage equality and lift women’s reputation in the industry. Here are a few initiatives that are currently being implemented:

  • Women Talk Real Estate – this organisation offers a practical solution to increase the visibility of women in the industry. They connect female professionals with speaking and press opportunities and offer tailored training to boost the female presence and showcase their skills to the industry.
  • RE: WOMEN – this group has been set up to offer informal education and networking opportunities to support gender equality and diversity in the real estate industry.
  • BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Women in Leadership Programme – the business launched the programme to change attitudes, increase the number of women in management and increase the diversity of teams.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Women Early Insights Programme – this provides an opportunity to explore the firm’s businesses and culture, network with employees in various divisions and partake in a variety of workshops.
  • Aberdeen Asset Management is a signatory of the Women in Finance Charter – the company has pledged to reduce the gender pay-gap and are striving for 42-45% of their UK employees to be female by 2022.
  • Pathways to Property – British Land, Reading Real Estate Foundation and The Sutton Trust are the founding supporters of ‘pathways to property’, a programme aimed to widen access to the real estate industry!

At Foundation, we embrace diversity amongst our employee network, candidates, and clients, striving to eliminate discrimination from the workplace. We are determined to deliver diversity, not only because it’s fair, but also because we understand it brings new perspectives, improves talent retention, develops exceptional leaders and drives talent and skills to a business.

We are striving to significantly support a gender-balanced work-force. Here are some of the strategies we have implemented:

  • We have created a ‘High Achievers – Women in Real Estate‘ group on LinkedIn to help support the gender imbalance in the real estate sector, share relevant news, job opportunities and discuss industry trends – follow the hyperlink to join!
  • We have researched gender word coded job adverts to ensure we are capturing and appealing to a diverse pool of talent.
  • We are active in an array of countries with language capabilities to ensure we can communicate with a wide pool of candidates effectively – location and language.
  • We attend numerous conferences in multiple countries and are always willing to speak. Earlier this year we spoke at a Women in Property event to support the gender imbalance in the industry.

Cognitive diversity in the workplace requires strong leadership and clear communication. It delivers a team of individuals who carry out intellectual activities differently and can offer unique perspectives – a brilliant way to drive a business forward. The amount of activity and passion being seen across the industry is inspiring and showing confidence the gender imbalance can and will be eradicated!

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