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Member focus: Government Property Profession

18.9.2020

The Government Property Profession is made up of almost 5,000 property professionals across government departments. Diversity and Inclusion is an important driver for the profession. In addition to the wider Civil Service D&I initiatives there are a number of property specific initiatives such as developing partnerships with Real Estate Balance, Black Professionals in Construction and a champion programme, which is led by five appointed senior civil servants, representing race, inclusion, social mobility, disability and gender.

The Property Leaders Board, is a government wide decision making board, consisting of senior civil servants from across government property. D&I is considered vitally important in the Civil Service and in the property profession, and upon consideration the board’s make-up was not deemed reflective of the society we operate in. In response, the board approved the development of a Shadow Board. This was created in February 2019 to increase the voice of underrepresented groups within the profession’s decision-making process.

The Shadow Board consists of a rotation of members, with each cohort having membership for 18 months. This was to ensure the opportunity was available widely across the profession. The Shadow Board reviews the Property Leaders Board papers the day before the main board, and they each have the opportunity to attend the main board to feedback the Shadow Boards thoughts. An evaluation which was conducted at the end of the first 12 months indicated the Shadow Board members benefited immensely particularly with their confidence increasing, which was noted by the members themselves, line managers and the Property Leaders.

The development and launch of the Shadow Board in 2018/2019 was done in response to the realisation that the profession could be doing more for those from underrepresented groups. The tensions in 2020 have shown that this is the case across the whole of the UK, in and out of the workplace. The Shadow Board continues to act as an anchor for D&I in the profession, especially as we develop more in the D&I space. Government Property Profession aims to do better and the Shadow Board, so far, has been an immensely positive step in the right direction.

To find out more about the government property professions diversity agenda please contact jumoke.ajay@cabinetoffice.gov.uk