Challenging the boys club

With the possible exception of mining, property is the ‘bloke-iest’ industry in Australia.

It’s an industry that started with bare hands, raw strength, smokos and more than a few accidents. Today, our industry bears little resemblance to what it was decades ago. It is dealing with unparalleled complexity – from meeting safety, health, environmental and planning challenges to dealing with international investors and fierce competition.

Despite the pressing challenges, we are hamstrung by a culture that is still far too blokey. In most of the major companies in our industry, women make up less than 20 per cent of senior management and about a third of all senior managers.

We are missing out on talent because of outdated work practices, cultures that aren’t friendly to the aspirations and needs of women, inflexible pay and conditions, and because ‘the boys club’ is still seen to be running the show.

It’s why the Property Council is committed to the Property Male Champions of Change because diversity in leadership benefits everyone.

This is not just a social imperative; it is an economic imperative. Harnessing a full range of talent is fundamental to the future success of our industry.

The members of the Property Male Champions of Change have resolved to own this issue. We are determined to bust up ‘the boys club’ through better work practices, accountability and by changing the culture that makes too many women feel unwelcome.

It’s not easy – but our industry needs more women builders, fund managers, engineers, leasing agents, carpenters and CEOs. We need more women in every part of our industry.

It’s a simple, practical – but fundamental – strategy for the industry’s future.