Fast tracking gender balance across Real Estate

Is a senior commitment to gender balance being felt on the ground and what more needs to be done?

While real estate has been making important strides in improving gender balance, the pace of progress doesn’t always match the huge level of effort. With our survey highlighting widespread employee frustration with the pace of change, a rethink is needed. Experience shows that the surest way to accelerate progress is to treat diversity like any other urgent strategic priority and embed it into the business fundamentals at all levels of the organisation.

Key findings

A commitment to change

There is a growing commitment to gender balance across the real estate industry; with more than 70 industry leaders signing up to Real Estate Balance’s CEO Commitments to Diversity. Our survey also highlights encouraging progress; with greater availability of flexible working programmes and enhanced initiatives springing up all across the sector.

Progress yes, but is it enough?

Our latest survey highlights valuable progress over the past two years. Yet change isn’t coming fast enough in many of the areas that would make the most difference to working lives and career prospects; including culture and behaviour. Employee expectations with respect to gender balance have risen, but female representation at key levels of management have not improved since 2017; highlighting the slow pace of change.

What’s holding up progress?

One of the keys to progress is agreement on the issues that need to be tackled and how. Our survey suggests that employers and employees differ on what they believe the issues are, how much progress has been made and the priorities ahead. Diversity and inclusion are also still seen as HR issues or even just nice-to-haves, rather than business critical priorities. An increase in strategic impetus and robust action planning are required for wholesale change to happen.

A framework for accelerating change

The experience of companies making the most progress highlights the importance of ensuring that diversity and inclusion get the same direction and accountability that would be applied to any other strategic priority. We present seven key pillars for accelerating change, including taking the stigma out of flexible working and providing clear direction, ownership and tone from the top.  

Contact us

Sandra Dowling

Real Estate Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 7764 988 547

Jon Terry

UK Diversity and Inclusion Consulting Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7720 555 397

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