Saluting our Sisters

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19 October 2023

06:00 PM

Avison Young, 65 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NQ

group of five black women

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"Female representation in the real estate sector as a whole stands at just 13%. A 2019 report found that FTSE 100 organisations in the construction and real estate sector had the lowest BAME representation of the labour market at 5.1%, 1.2% of whom were black. This suggests a very low proportion of those working in the sector are black women. Currently the industry workforce does not reflect society.” Black Women in Real Estate

As a vastly underrepresented group in real estate, black women face particular challenges in entering and progressing within the industry. Lack of visibility, authority bias and a distinct shortage of colleagues from similar backgrounds and experiences to connect with can reaffirm the status quo. Real estate is a people-centric business and having highly visible black women leaders and speakers and a strong network of contacts and allies, particularly those who champion raising the profile and representation of black women and support young black talent, is key to addressing the poor statistics above and having an industry that is truly reflective of society.

Hosted by Avison Young, Real Estate Balance joins three other organisations who are working to celebrate, connect and ensure black women thrive in the industry: Black Professionals in Construction Network, The Land Collective and Black Women in Real Estate. Our panel will unite to #Salute our Sisters in real estate as part of the Black History Month 2023 celebrations. Hear their inspiring stories and the particular experiences and challenges they faced entering an industry that did not reflect the society around them. Panelists will shine a spotlight on the power of networks in making black women visible in the real estate industry and developing the next generation of young black talent and the importance of inclusion in decision making to add value and improve organisational performance. There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience. 

Our panel

Chinyelu Oranefo

Chinyelu Oranefo (chair)
Director, Sustainability & ESG Finance Team, Lloyds Bank

Chinyelu is a Director in the Sustainability & ESG Finance Team at Lloyds Bank where she leads on ESG strategy for the RE&H sector, structures ESG-linked transactions and represents Lloyds Bank on committees and collaborations with various organisations such as the LMA, CREFC, GFI, UK GBC and World GBC.  Prior to joining Lloyds, as a finance lawyer, she supported clients to deliver finance transactions across a number of sectors and was at the forefront of developing a Sustainable Finance legal specialism. Chinyelu read Law & French Law and has a Masters in International Commercial Law. 

Georgina Manly

Sarah Hayford
Founder and CEO, The Land Collective

Sarah Hayford is the Founder & CEO of a youth-focused social mobility organisation, The Land Collective. The Land Collective aims to develop the next generation of diverse leaders in the property and built environment sector through showcasing career opportunities, providing educational resources, delivering employability programmes and placing young talent from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds into early career opportunities such as apprenticeships, internships, work placements and graduate schemes.

Sarah's career in commercial real estate began after graduating from the University of Nottingham in 2018.

Reah Huggins-Sutton

Reah Huggins-Sutton
Chartered Surveyor, Strategic Asset Management, JLL, & Real Estate Balance NextGen Committee Member

Reah recently qualified as a Chartered Surveyor having joined JLL on their commercial practice graduate programme. Reah works within Strategic Asset Management at JLL and oversees the investment management of several multi-let industrial estates across the UK.

Reah is passionate about championing diversity and inclusion to ensure property is a welcoming and inclusive sector for all. Alongside her primary role, Reah is a member of Real Estate Balance's NextGen Committee.

Carol Massay

Carol Massay
Head of Construction, The Access Group & Black Professionals in Construction champion

Carol has over 35 years of experience in the construction industry, working with some of the UK’s largest contractors in house building and civil engineering. She has seen the sector from all angles and is passionate about promoting it as a place for career growth, personal development, and technology adoption. As a Caribbean woman, Carol champions equality and diversity in the sector and beyond. She leads by example and inspires others with her gender and ethnic identity. Carol is a trusted advisor and a thought leader in the sector, offering strategic guidance and digital transformation solutions to help businesses succeed. Carol believes in building a team and a culture that fosters learning and innovation, which she has demonstrated in her leadership roles. Carol made history as the UKs first Black Woman CEO of a Construction software company, which won the ERP Software of the year award for six consecutive years. She then sold the business to The Access Group, the UK’s largest business software company, in 2020. 

Awards & Recognitions 
2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021,- Construction ERP Software of the Year (Construction Computing Magazine)
2022 – Construction Solution of the Year (Construction Computing Magazine) 
2021-Great British Series Awards, and awarded Construction Businesswoman of the year 
2022 -Finalist Top 100 Most Influential Woman in Construction 2022 
2022 -Finalist Diversity & Inclusion Champion (Black Professional in Construction). 
2023 – Finalist Industry Pioneer (Women in Construction Awards – September 2023) 

Georgina Manly

Georgina Manly
Retail Customer Propositions Director, Landsec & Black Women in Real Estate Committee member

Georgie Manly is the Retail Customer Propositions Director at Landsec, responsible for the creative direction, strategy, and delivery of new and enhanced Guest experiences across the retail portfolio. With a solid background in creative strategy and experience innovation, she has designed world-class customer-centric experiences and brand propositions for FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies across a broad spectrum of industries including Hospitality, Retail, Office, Public Sector, and Charities.

Alongside her main role at Landsec, she is the Chair of the Diaspora Network where she advocates for equality and the advancement of ethnically diverse colleagues in her workplace, and better experiences for the ethnically diverse communities they work in.

Registration will be from 6pm for a 6.30pm prompt start with formal proceedings finishing at 7.30pm. Following the discussion, connect with like-minded individuals that share your passion for diversity and inclusion at our speed networking drinks.

If you would like to attend, please request your place by clicking on the button above.