Five new NextGen appointments… and the Committee’s vital research for under-35s starts soon!

News / 09.11.2023

Real Estate Balance’s NextGen Committee are delighted to announce five new appointments as they continue to focus on the experience of up-and-coming property professionals and provide a pan-company forum to discuss issues relating to widening access to our industry.

The new NextGenners represent different types of organisations across different aspects of real estate.

And although they all bring different skills and experiences to the Committee, they all share a dedication to progress EDI across our sector.

We are thrilled to welcome the following people to the Committee:

  • Adam Baskett – Senior Analyst, Abrdn
  • Emma Guthrie – Partner, Property and Infrastructure, Shepherd & Wedderburn
  • Grace Kan - Associate Partner, PLP Architecture
  • Jasmine Ceccarelli-Drewry – Senior Advisor, Strategic Advisory, Montagu Evans
  • Siobhan Darlington – Events Manager, The Crown Estate

More than 40 people expressed an interest in joining NextGen, and Adam, Emma, Grace, Jasmine and Siobhan have been appointed at an opportune time, with the third NextGen survey opening next week.

The previous version of the research of the under-35s in our industry in 2022 confirmed that real estate is still a ‘secret sector’ – difficult to access socially and economically – with participants suggesting remedies to reduce barriers to entry including awareness raising, early interventions with school pupils, more apprenticeship schemes and better hiring practices.

The research also tackled inappropriate attitudes and behaviours in the workplace and found that although sexism, classism, ageism, transphobia, racism, ableism and mental health stigma are sadly still present in UK real estate, the number of people witnessing them had fallen since 2020.

The latest survey, which only takes around ten minutes to complete, will be launched on Monday 13th November, but early birds can take part here.

Please also share the link with any of your colleagues who are under-35 or in the first ten years of their real estate career as we want more people than ever to have their say!

Emma, who will be joining NextGen as its new co-Chair, said of her appointment:

“I am committed to empowering and championing opportunities for all, reducing barriers to entry and increasing representation across the sector. As a partner in a Scottish-headquartered organisation, and myself based in Scotland, I am keen to support Real Estate Balance’s ambitions to ensure that it is truly a UK-wide organisation.”

Adam, who has been an EDI champion throughout his career, including mentoring younger people at university and at Abrdn, said:

My vision is to foster an open industry where opportunities are accessible to all, and prejudice has no place. As part of NextGen, I am excited to collaborate with my fellow committee members on fulfilling this vision, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that will spread through every level of our industry.”

Grace was inspired to join NextGen after recognising the need to foster inclusive workplace attitudes that actively promote diversity and equality in the industry. She said:

“Creating an atmosphere of respect and open communication in the workplace is essential for both individuals and organisations to thrive. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved and make positive changes to the industry as part of the NextGen Committee.”

Jasmine joined the industry following a non-traditional property education and is passionate about widening access to the real estate industry. She said:

“I believe that the built environment can fundamentally change society for the better when it is positioned to do so. However, truly inclusive design, innovation and the delivery of successful and sustainable places cannot happen unless the industry is able to diversify and become less insular. I’m delighted to be working with NextGen colleagues to bring people together to make real change.”

Siobhan is also relatively new to the property industry but brings to NextGen extensive experience in managing and delivering events and a foundational principle that everyone should be able to be their authentic selves in the workplace. Siobhan said:

“Connecting people and making a real difference to society and the environment make up part of my core values and are pivotal in my conduct whether that be personal or professional. Being part of the change and delivery is something I feel passionately about, and I hope in working closely with NextGen and their ambitions I can do just that.”


Everyone at Real Estate Balance is looking forward to working with Adam, Emma, Grace, Jasmine and Siobhan and are thankful to everyone who expressed an interest in joining the NextGen Committee.

Keep up to date with everything NextGen by joining their LinkedIn group here.