Diversity in action
As a member-led organisation, we are exceptionally proud of those Property Council members who choose to make diversity and inclusion a priority, putting the topic not just on our agenda, but also walking the talk in their own organisations.
We sat down with Kylie Eagle, GM People and Communications at Kiwi Property (above left) and Lauren Joyce, Human Resources Manager at Precinct Property (above right) to discuss how their organisations are embracing diversity and helping to grow the industry's talent pool.
Kylie Eagle, GM People and Communications
What led Kiwi Property to launch a drive for diversity?
We believe that building a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture is integral to achieving the best outcomes for our people, our customers, visitors, investors and stakeholders.
We want to connect with, reflect and understand the communities in which we operate because we think this will enable us to best meet the needs of these important stakeholders.
We want to attract, develop and retain employees from a diverse and wide range of backgrounds because we think this in turn broadens our perspective, thinking, decision making and our innovative capability as an organisation.
What initiatives or actions has Kiwi Property taken on your road to diversity?
We've committed to broadening our talent pool in order to build a more ethnically diverse team. For us, this means doing all we can to ensure that candidate talent pools include representation of women, Māori, Pacific Peoples and Asian candidates. We've made this commitment for Board and management roles.
Annually, we conduct a review of remuneration to assess any gender pay gaps and to assess any impact of pay on the participation of women in the workforce.
We're providing our people with flexibility and we're enabling this through our leadership style and by providing mobility and technology that allows our team to work when and how they need to, in order to meet their needs and the company’s. This looks like people working remotely, from home, from another Kiwi Property workplace or off-site, as and when they need to.
We regularly communicate and promote diversity and inclusion. We want to grow our team's understanding of diversity and inclusion and the many benefits that arises from a culture that supports it.
We've also established a scholarship to support the education, promotion and enablement of careers in the property industry for Māori and Pasifika students – with the overarching objective of supporting the increased representation of Māori and Pasifika in the property industry. We are providing financial support to the recipient throughout their tertiary qualification along with mentoring from one of our senior managers and work experience.
Being a member of the Property Council's Diversity Committee is another important initiative for us. We want to understand what is occurring in our industry and be part of the team working to build and support a diverse and inclusive industry.
What gains have you seen as a result of Kiwi Property’s diversity initiatives?
We know that progress towards achieving diversity across the business requires a long-term approach. We’ve seen really good progress in the adoption of flexible working practices in our business and we want to keep building on this across our teams. We're growing the representation of women in senior roles in the business, with 52% of our senior managers and just under a third of our Executive roles held by women.
Lauren Joyce, Human Resources Manager
What led Precinct to launch a drive for diversity?
For us the focus is not Diversity in isolation, it’s prioritising Diversity and Inclusion. It’s our view that Diversity on its own won’t drive the commercial or cultural benefits that we are trying to achieve. Inclusion is key to unlocking the benefits of having a Diverse team.
The reasoning behind our focus on D&I is primarily because it’s the right thing to do – our workforce should represent our society. We ensure our business practices provide equal opportunity and a comfortable environment for everyone.
This is integral to Precinct’s positive team culture and its ability to be innovative – which is another reason that we prioritise D&I – diversity of thought/experience generates better business outcomes.
What does a diverse industry look like to you?
One that is innovative, thriving and well future-proofed. As above, one that reflects our diverse society. There should be good representation of Gender, Ethnicity, Orientation, Age etc. at all role levels, across a multitude of disciplines within the industry.
What initiatives or actions has Precinct taken on your road to diversity?
Many, but one of the most important aspects underpinning our D&I efforts is getting the team culture right. Fostering an environment where people feel confident to voice their ideas and opinions.
*We are happy to share our D&I initiatives in order to create betterment within our industry, so do feel free to get in contact if you’d like ideas or templates.
What gains have you seen as a result of Precinct’s diversity initiatives?
By overlaying D&I strategy when recruiting we ultimately attract a wider catchment of talent. This has resulted in a more diverse range of (amazing!) people working for our business and greater gender representation within our team. Having a talented and diverse team drives stronger business performance & innovation – this is achieved through the sharing of information and enabling collaborative decision making.
If there was one diversity or inclusion initiative or idea you would like to see implemented across the New Zealand property industry, what would it be?
Focus on developing the property industry’s talent pipeline; beginning at high school level. A large catchment of students aren’t aware of what careers there are within the industry, quite often students are led to choosing property careers/degrees through family or knowing people who are already in the industry. It would be great to see our industry tap into a wider talent pool through raising awareness of the multitude of careers across the industry.