A Changing Landscape - celebrating women in real estate at MIPIM
20 March 2019
The Chief Executive of a housing association, an Executive Director at the GLA, the Government’s Chief Property officer, the Chief Executive of a combined authority, an International Director of a development consultancy, the Editor of Estates Gazette and a partridge in a pear tree. The list of attendees at last Wednesday’s dinner might at first seem like your typical MIPIM crowd. The fact that this group was comprised of only women is far from typical. In the real-estate world, this a very unique gathering of industry professionals.
When I first came to MIPIM thirty years ago, I doubt that there were 24 women in attendance across the whole show! It would seem that times really have changed. That said, I have been challenged by many in our industry for organising an exclusively women-only event, which we have proudly delivered for the last two years. To those who have questioned my rationale for chairing such an event, I simply respond by saying, ‘welcome to my world’. While the sector appears to have finally woken up to the fact that we, as women, form an important part of the workforce, the reality is that the industry still has a long way to go to fully embrace diversity.
A cultural shift that not only recognises the male-orientated dynamics of our business, but also the severe lack of professionals from diverse socio-economic, educational and ethnic backgrounds must now take place. As someone who has devoted much of her career to promoting women in the real-estate world, I am increasingly aware of the intersectional factors that remain barriers to inclusivity in this working environment. In 2019, I deem it more important than ever to endeavour to make our industry more reflective of the contemporary world in which we live- no more so than in our richly diverse capital city. The truth of the matter is that aside from rendering our industry more representative of the society in which we work and operate, a more diverse workforce offering a wider spectrum of perspectives and lenses will only benefit the projects we deliver.
First and foremost, last Wednesday was about championing women and celebrating the important role that we play in this area of the business world. At the same time, I hope that the evening provided an opportunity to come together to recognise the work that we still have to do. My hope is that through opportunities like this we can collaboratively work to build a real-estate industry that is more inclusive and diverse for all.
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