Real Estate Balance founders honoured at Inspiring Women in Property Awards

News / 06.10.2023

The seven extraordinary women who founded Real Estate Balance were awarded the prestigious EDI Team of the Year prize at the Property Week Inspiring Women in Property Awards on Thursday 5 October 2023.

Around a decade ago, these real estate leaders, listed below, decided to work together to tackle the vast gender imbalance in the real estate industry.

  • Suzanne Avery - Non-Executive Director at LondonMetric Property
  • Sue Clayton - Non-Executive Director at SEGRO plc and Non-Executive Director (Chair) at Helical plc
  • Karen Friebe - Partner at Bird & Bird
  • Vivienne King - Head of Real Estate Social Impact at The Good Economy
  • Claire Milton - Real Estate Partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner
  • Liz Peace CBE - Chair of Real Estate Balance and former Chief Executive of the BPF
  • Elisabeth Teo-Pennell - Senior Advisor at Newbridge Capital Partners

They made a number of crucial decisions early on which would lay the foundations for us becoming the leading EDI organisation in real estate.

These included identifying the impact that senior leaders and up-and-coming property professionals would have in making the industry more inclusive and representative, the importance of both women and men in striving for gender balance, and that data collection and the sharing of best practice would be central to their efforts.

They formally launched Real Estate Balance in 2015 and with their continued involvement and guidance, we today have more than 120 companies in our membership – a number which continues to grow.

The septet have overseen a number of significant policy, research and campaign successes and also endorsed our broadened focus which now sees us advocating for chance in the areas of race and ethnicity and social mobility.

In selecting our founders for the award, the judges said Real Estate Balance is a clear example of an organisation “walking the talk”, and praised Suzanne, Sue, Karen, Vivienne, Claire, Liz and Elisabeth for continuing to evolve the organisation and act as a champions for diversity in the sector.

Their nomination for this well-deserved acknowledgement was also endorsed by more than ten leading senior executives in the real estate industry.

The evening would also end up becoming even more special for our Chair Liz Peace CBE.

Liz was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for her more than two decades at the heart of the property sector, including as the well-respected and admired Chief Executive of the British Property Federation until 2014.

Since leaving the BPF, Liz has taken on a range of non-executive roles and will also continue as our Chair until next year, when after which she will be greatly missed.

Speaking as she collected her award, Liz said:

“I am often asked what advice I would give to women, especially young women, in our industry. So let me end with my top three:

  1. Never allow yourself to be told you can’t achieve something – I was told I couldn’t work part time – but I did.
  2. Find allies – my circles of friends, men and women, in all the places I have worked have often been what kept me going when it got tough.
  3. But above all, be yourself and don’t ever get forced into being something you are not on the pretext that that is how you will succeed.”

Everyone at Real Estate Balance offer our congratulations to Liz, Suzanne, Sue, Karen, Vivienne, Claire and Elisabeth.

We would also like to congratulate the Real Estate Balance members Jo Allen at Frogmore, Rebecca Moore at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Charlotte Butcher at CBRE and Savills UK for winning prizes at the Property Week Inspiring Women in Property Awards.