A Pledge for Progress
We know that the best discussions, thinking and productivity occurs when there is diversity.
Led by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Property Council is committed to ensuring that women in our industry are visible and included. To support this, we have adopted a 40:40:20 Pledge at all Property Council events and forums, where we aim to have a range of speakers who are 40% male, 40% female and 20% either across local and national events, both as speakers and attendees.
Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair, Mandy Waldin of Goodman, says, “the Panel Pledge is not about hitting a target, we know that it is unrealistic to expect every event to achieve an exact balance, but without something to aim for nothing will change.”
Co-Chair Andrew Stringer of CBRE agrees, saying, “conferences and panels provide a platform to share experiences and perspectives. When you limit the range of perspectives, you limit the quality of the conversation.”
In the 2019 financial year, Property Council hosted over 80 events in which 179 speakers and facilitators took the stage, with 38% of them being female. Of course, these numbers are skewed by the inclusion of Women in Property events, which are crafted specifically for women and often have a full line up of female speakers. If we remove Women in Property events from the picture, these figures drop dramatically, with only 29% female representation.
Across all events throughout the country, 39% of forums hosted by Property Council had no women in the programme at all. This must change.
A significant learning curve both for Property Council and our members, is that the quota is less important than the content. While an exact 50:50 balance would be fine in principal, the optics are less convincing if you’re only encouraging women’s voices on “soft” topics rather than “hard” topics.
We want women to be heard at all levels and from all areas of expertise, but we can’t do this without your help. Here's a few ways you can be part of this drive to inclusivity:
1. Be part of the pledge
We are asking Property Council members to commit to the Panel Pledge. This includes:
- Ensuring that any event or seminar you participate in has a balance of male and female speakers;
- Supporting your female team members to speak at events, and;
- Extending the pledge to your own organisation by ensuring all forums you host or sponsor take gender balance into account.
We would love to hear your stories and see the Panel Pledge in action – feel free to email them to email@example.com or tag us in your LinkedIn or Twitter posts using the hashtags #panelpledgenz #webelonginproperty #propertycouncilnz
2. Actively encourage women’s voices
One of the biggest hurdles to getting women front and centre is talent hunting – we know there are hundreds of people out there who would make excellent speakers and we want to encourage them to put their hands up. To do so, we are developing a database of speakers – both male and female – which will be available on our website for the wider industry to use as they wish. This offer is not exclusively for women – as diversity come in all shapes and sizes – this is an invitation to the property industry at large.
3. Watch this space
Over the coming months, further initiatives will be rolled out, including benchmark research and a Champions for Change programme. Unlike many diversity programmes, these initiatives are not reserved for just the big players, our aim is to make them accessible for all.