An Audience with Baroness Ford OBE


An Audience with Baroness Ford OBE will be held on 17 September at
6-8pm at CMS in the City. 

Real Estate Balance will be holding an 'Audience with Baroness Ford’ on Tuesday 17 September 2019, 6-8pm hosted by CMS, Cannon Place, 78 Cannon St, London EC4N 6AF. 

Our 'Audience with …' events shine a spotlight on the career paths of distinguished role models from the real estate sector and their insights and experience on issues related to diversity and inclusion in the sector.

The timetable for the evening is as follows:
6pm: Registration and drinks. 
6.30pm: Event starts.  Baroness Margaret Ford will explore the progress of women in the sector, the changes she has observed in her 40 year career in urban regeneration and property and offer advice for young women developing their careers. The session will be led by Sophie Shannon, Associate Director at NewRiver REIT. There will be time for questions from the audience followed by networking drinks. 
8pm: Event finishes. 

The event is open to all members and those from member organisations. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 'Our Audience with …' events are very popular so it is advisable to register early. Please RSVP by Tuesday 3 September 2019 to

About our speakers

Baroness Ford of Cunninghame is Chairman of NewRiver REIT plc and was previously a non-executive director of Taylor Wimpey plc and Segro plc and the former chairman of Grainger plc, May Gurney plc and Barchester Healthcare Limited. Margaret is Chairman of STV, a television channel serving Scotland. She has over 20 years experience as a non-executive Director and Chairman of private and listed companies and extensive experience of working with Government.

Margaret is a trustee of the British Olympic Association and National President of the British Epilepsy Association. From 2009 to 2012, she was a member of the Olympic Board and Chairman of the Olympic Park Legacy Company. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2006 and sits as an Independent Peer. Margaret is Chairman of the STV Children's Appeal and in March 2015, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Margaret has been actively campaigning for equal pay and equal opportunities for over thirty five years and was proud to chair the first company in the FTSE with an all female leadership team: Chair, CEO, FD and SID at Grainger in 2015. She mentors a number of women and currently leads the Norton House Group, a development Programme focussed in preparing senior women in Scotland for their first Board role.

Sophie Shannon is Associate Director at NewRiver REIT responsible for the asset management of the northern portfolio. Sophie is a chartered surveyor with over 8 years' experience in commercial property. After obtaining a BSc (Hons) in Geography from The University of Edinburgh, Sophie went on to study her MSc in Property Management & Investment at Edinburgh Napier University whilst working as a Property Manager for a firm of residential chartered surveyors.

About our hosts

CMS is committed to developing a supportive culture built on trust, respect and inclusion at the heart of their business so that all careers can thrive. Everyone is encouraged to work together to build this.

Their ten diversity networks provide structure and formality around what is already a very supportive and respectful firm culture, championed by Senior Partner Penelope Warne. They provide their members and the wider firm with a platform to share experiences, raise awareness of challenges and seek support. The firm actively encourages all staff to spend at least 50 hours a year to support diversity initiatives. It makes the firm a more rewarding place to work and a more sustainable business. They embrace differences and encourage diversity of people, views and experiences, for the benefit of all.

CMS is an active member of Real Estate Balance and, as such, they are pleased to host this event.