Real Estate: A Diverse Industry?

Women in Real Estate is not a new topic, but one that is generating a lot of discussion and activity across the market.

The Real Estate Balance/PWC Survey report conducted earlier this year showed 80% of women working in real estate address gender issues as an important factor for their job satisfaction, yet only 11% of women believe their company deal with gender issues extremely well – quite shocking statistics! Following these results, it has been encouraging to see the efforts within the industry to combat this issue.

Property week have reported that nearly 50 senior property executives have signed up to a set of commitments to promote an inclusive, gender balance in the industry. This initiative was launched at the British Property Federation annual dinner on 1st November 2017 and the commitments are as follows:

  1. Visibly demonstrate the business case for diversity and promote your commitment within your business
  2. Gather your diversity data, track and report your progress using your data to guide your priorities
  3. Change mindsets by challenging bias/discrimination where you see it and licence others to do so
  4. Insist on diversity for recruitment or promotion decisions you’re involved with, including panels and in shortlists
  5. Use promotional opportunities for your company to represent a diverse image
  6. Speak on panels only where organisers commit to having at least one man and woman
  7. Adopt a balanced approach to sponsorship, i.e. both men and women
  8. Consider influencing your supply chain
  9. Personally engage with the diverse range of the workforce in your business in order to broaden your perspective
  10. Promote D&I in any groups you are members of and share good practice

Seeing such a high number agreeing to abide by the commitments would foresee a shift in the gender balance in the near future! Having a diverse industry will increase job satisfaction, resulting in employee engagement, which will ultimately, have a positive impact on the bottom line.

In addition to this, JLL holds an annual ‘Empower. Inspire. Engage. Women’s Summit’ to congratulate, recognise and promote the high achieving women within the industry – “We launched the Summit last year to connect women across our vast network with one another and create a platform on which the women could get visibility with leaders, build pipelines to peers and managers and provided them tools to succeed and empower them to become even better leaders and mentors,” said Angela Roseboro, Chief Diversity Officer of Jones Lang LaSalle.

There are numerous initiatives being introduced across the industry which is having a positive impact on the entire culture of the real estate market. There needs to be a culture change across all businesses at all levels – not just senior and board level. It is important everyone knows the progression and opportunities available so everyone can strive to have a successful career within their organisation.

Discrimination issues and procedures need to be clearly established to ensure problems are tackled effectively, seriously and promptly. It is important this is communicated to all employees so everyone understands what actions can be done and when to speak up.

It is crucial employees understand the efforts businesses are making in order to change the ‘male-dominated’ industry. It is essential that clear values and a solid culture are in-place; that there is transparency across the company and opportunities are being communicated clearly. Talent attraction and employment strategies may need to be updated as it is crucial employees feel engaged with their company, and with 80% of women stating gender issues as important for them, it needs to be considered.

Today, women are much better presented within the industry and it seems to be only improving. We have created a ‘High Achievers – Women in Real Estate’ group to create industry discussion; share relevant news and post the latest career opportunities – please join if you are within the industry.

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