There is no hiding from the reality that the real estate industry has a long way to go before it can say it is truly inclusive, diverse and supportive of every person, no matter their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other social or personal characteristics. But, that’s not to say that people in the industry aren’t trying hard to stamp out discrimination, to change perceptions, and to bring opportunities to people who otherwise wouldn’t have had them. Together, we can lean on changing the dial and become an all embracing, diverse and inclusive industry.
As Senior Partner at Hollis and Master of the Chartered Surveyors Company, I see it as my role to lead and inspire people to be better and to give everyone equal opportunities in a supportive environment, where everyone feels accepted and welcome. By being inclusive and diverse, we are expanding our skills set, our experiences and our ideas.
At the Livery, we are proactively working to improve the diversity of the Company, attracting people from any background. Alongside educating ourselves and supporting our shared knowledge to change mindsets, we must also ensure that we connect with young people. Starting at grassroots in schools. Providing information about how to forge a career in the property industry and giving young people routes into employment, is very important.
At the Livery we work with and support a number of schools in London providing presentations, work placements and mentoring to the children. We are providing broader support to these schools by way of direct financial assistance, and funding business enterprise and drugs awareness programmes. Work placements are supported by leading real estate companies, with these converting into apprenticeships at the firms.
We also have a property degree bursary scheme for young people who would be unable to join our profession without that financial support. What we need, and are committed to doing now is working out a way to roll this out to many more schools. It is good to see the potential impact that this could have on the diversity and inclusion in our industry. It is heart-warming, especially in these times, to see how keen our members are to give back to the community – be it their time visiting schools to talk about the world of property, or giving financially.
We must educate ourselves and stamp out discrimination and bullying at all levels of the industry, but we must also support young people from all walks of life to learn about careers in property and help them forge their future in the sector, giving them opportunities to develop and succeed at any level. Making change happen and seeing change in our industry, in fact globally, is not an overnight thing; it will take time. But let’s all do what we can now to start to make that difference.