Championing women. Always.

News / 08.03.2024

Real Estate Balance was founded nine years ago by seven extraordinary women who decided to work together to challenge the gender imbalance in our industry and encourage others to do so too. They were honoured at the inaugural Inspiring Women in Property Awards.

Although our founding focus has been expanded to other equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) dimensions over time, we will always advocate for women through our campaigns, research and in everything we do.

Our industry has a vital role to play in designing and developing homes, workplaces, infrastructure and built environments which work for women, and so many people at Real Estate Balance members support us and champion the position of women at all levels in UK real estate and associated sectors every day.

So this International Women's Day, we are thanking you all and also highlighting some initiatives we are involved in and some others we wanted to share.


#InspireInclusion with Shepherd and Wedderburn

Sue was delighted to join Shepherd and Wedderburn's annual IWD discussion which this year focused on the IWD theme to #InspireInclusion to forge a better and more equal world for women. The speakers involved are all truly inspirational and are very successful in their own fields:

  • Gillian Carty - Chair of Shepherd and Wedderburn
  • Louise Hardy - Non-executive Director at Balfour Beatty
  • Laura Montgomery - CEO and co-founder at Glasgow City Football Club
  • Sue Brown - Managing Director at Real Estate Balance

Shepherd and Wedderburn will be uploading the excellent discussion to their YouTube channel and we urge you all to watch it here.


Celebrating IWD in Parliament Square

Earlier in the week, our vice-Chair Suzanne had the honour of being on the host committee for Christian Embassy's 14th IWD luncheon in Parliament Square where 95 women representing 62 nations and roles including ambassadors, MPs, diplomats and business and charity leaders heard from Baroness Morrisey on the topic of 'the preserving life: the potential of one, the power of many'.


Are you attending MIPIM next week?

We are proud that women will be at the forefront of the REB activities at the world leading real estate event MIPIM next week.

This will include a session on the industry's response to our NextGen Survey at 2pm on Wednesday on the London Pavilion with:

  • Carolyn Milligan - Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills and NextGen co-Chair
  • Hannah Awonuga - Group Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Partner at Knight Frank
  • Chanelle Gray - Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Savills
  • Anne-Lyse Raoul - Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, EMEA at JLL

Sue will also speak about EDI in our industry at a Networking Brunch with PCC member Michela Hancock hosted by Greystar on Tuesday, at a breakfast event hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright on Wednesday, and at The Editors Dinner with Sam McClary at EG and Annabelle Redman at Clyde & Co also on Wednesday.

Our chair Liz will be joining Michelle Steel at Regeneration Brainery and Adina David at MGT at Avison Young's event called Dare To Be Different? on Wednesday to explore real estate's future with industry veterans and emerging talents.


REB and IWD in the media

Sue has also written an insightful article for Property Week to share her views on progressing gender equality in real estate to mark IWD. Read the article in full here.

She also features in Costar's The Women Changing the Face of UK Real Estate feature for IWD which can be read here.


FTSE Women Leaders Review

Last week saw the 2024 update of the FTSE Women Leaders Review launched, with the latest findings revealing women's representation on FTSE350 Boards at 42% and 31% at 50 of Britain's largest private companies. The figures for women's representation in leadership at FTSE350 companies is 35% and 36% for the private companies.

The report breaks down the data by sector and we are pleased to see REB members making progress towards gender balance. It also highlights actions that can be taken to accelerate change.

Download the full report here.


Sexism in the City

The all-party Treasury Select Committee chaired by MP Harriett Baldwin started taking evidence from senior City women about their workplace experiences last October and today published the results of the inquiry to mark IWD.

The report includes conclusions and recommendations relating to D&I and representation, barriers facing women and hybrid and flexible working, the impact of motherhood and menopause on careers, the gender pay gap in financial services and sexual harassment, NDAs and whistleblowing alongside powerful testimonies from women working in the City.

We urge everyone to download the full report here.


Gender pay gap

In less than a month, the 2024 gender pay gap will be revealed and we will find out whether it has fallen from 9.4% last year, which was also the same as in 2017/18 when companies were first required to publish the figures. It would be remiss of us not to remind everyone that although real estate as a sector had a below average gender pay gap last year of 8.4%, men were being paid 22.1% more than women in the finance and construction sectors, which also relate to our members. We have a long way to go to close the gap based on the median pay gap methodology.


Challenging gender imbalance in the year ahead

One of the key findings in the REB Industry EDI Survey in 2022 was that the gender gap between middle management and senior leadership has not only persisted but worsened since we carried out our first survey in 2016. We will be carrying out the exercise again this year to see if there has been any progress. We are also very excited to be involved in a ground breaking study of the reasons behind senior women leaving our industry which we can't wait to tell you all more about later in the year. Watch this space!