National Inclusion Week: Instilling the principles of diversity & inclusion into our business
It is now widely acknowledged that diversity is a key component for business success. Numerous studies have shown that those organisations that fill their bench with a diverse and inclusive team perform better, and are more likely to deliver better returns. Real estate in particular is an industry that does not exhibit much diversity, with only 1.5% of the RICS membership being from a BAME background and only 15% are women. With the high barriers to entry that persist throughout the industry, we must all recognise that it is up to us on the inside to break down these barriers to make real change. Without this, our industry will become increasingly unrepresentative and stale. We must recognise that building a truly diverse and inclusive business takes time and a continuous commitment that needs to sit at the heart of all operations.
At Clearbell, we know that we have work to do on our diversity and inclusion (D&I) commitments. As an organisation, we are determined to take steps to proactively address unconscious bias – the most common barrier to a truly inclusive business, which can affect all of a business’s activities including recruitment and even choosing which partners and suppliers we work with.
Our starting point will be a company-wide training programme around unconscious bias, which will aim to identify any preconceived ideas we may have, both individually and as a business, and how this bias can influence our decisions. This is something we will pick up collectively, but key for us is that we, as individuals, recognise our own biases, take responsibility and carry this forward into our life, inside and outside of the figurative office.
Inclusion week last week was enlightening and a good chance for us all to look at our networks, teams and colleagues with an analytical eye. However, it is essential to us that D&I is not a week in a year, but a permanent part of our culture, and this will require constant positive reflection and action.
We want to be ambitious with our D&I strategy. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that we build a culture where everyone is equal, respected and can bring their whole selves to work. We want to make change and the change starts at home. It will be hard work and challenging questions will need to be asked, but we are up for it.
Trishna Ng, Tax Director, and Joe Bridger, Investment Director