The Property Council is committed to building a diverse and inclusive industry. This page provides resources and useful links for organisations commencing their diversity planning, and those seeking to enhance the diversity agenda in their organisation.

CONTENTS

Why does diversity matter?

How do I start a diversity agenda in my organisation?

What are the drivers and barriers to attracting, retaining and promoting women in property?

Should I set targets and measure progress?

Why flexible work is important

How can I support carers and those on parental leave in my organisation?

How is domestic and family violence a workplace issue?

How can I find more information?

Other useful resources

In the news


Why does diversity matter?

Diverse and inclusive workplaces are more productive, they make better decisions, perform better financially, and they attract and retain talent, customers and suppliers.

Gender diversity is the starting point. Organisations that don’t work for the majority of the Australian population will never work for minority groups. However gender equality alone is by no means the end goal. Organisations will leverage the benefits of diversity when their workforces, including their leadership, reflect the diversity of the Australian population.

Tools:

 

How do I start a diversity agenda in my organisation?

Your diversity agenda must start with understanding the diversity challenge in your organisation. This includes knowing your numbers, listening deeply to the experiences of staff in your organisation, and learning from experts in the field. It is also important that leaders in your organisation champion diversity to ensure it is an organisational priority and this is communicated throughout the organisation.

The Property Male Champions of Change commenced with ‘listening and learning’ to the experience of men and women in their organisations through over 48 focus groups across 18 organisations involving over 500 people. From these insights the Property Male Champions of Change formed six Action Groups to lead tangible action to drive gender equality through their organisations.

Tools:

 

What are the drivers and barriers to attracting, retaining and promoting women in property?

With support from EY, the Property Male Champions of change conducted milestone research on the barriers to women entering and thriving in the property industry.  

The research found that men and women are equally motivated to work in property for the career opportunities available and their passion for the industry. But the boys’ club mentality and the lack of diversity in senior leadership positions are significant barriers to women entering the property industry.

The research also found that although women make up more than half (52%) of non-leadership roles in the property industry, they only hold 28% of its leadership positions. While women and men have very similar ambitions to progress to leadership positions, women believe they have less chance of achieving their goal. The boys’ club mentality, pay inequality and the lack of diversity in
senior leadership positions are key barriers to success for women in the property industry. 

Tools:

Avoiding the 'merit trap' (MCC)

 

Should I set targets and measure progress? 

Yes. Driving diversity in an organisation requires the same leadership approaches that are applied to any significant organisation priority - review baseline metrics, agree on targets, develop action plans to achieve them, measure and correct. Baseline metrics allow us to measure progress and review and revise the effectiveness of the strategies we have put in place. Targets crystalise intent and ensure diversity is a priority. 

Tools:

Founding National Male Champions of Change Progress Reports

Diversity Council of Australia



Why flexible work is important

Adopting a flexible approach to work attracts and retains talent in a diverse workforce. Increasingly, employees are looking for workplaces that embrace flexibility. Flexible workplaces have higher employee engagement scores and report higher levels of productivity. Increasingly, organisations are adopting an ‘all roles flex’ or ‘flex by default’ approach – mainstreaming flexibility across all roles.

Tools: 

How can I support carers and those on parental leave in my organisation?

4.1 million employees in Australia have unpaid caring responsibilities and 89% of parents with children work. Supporting carers and parental leavers is crucial to realising the full potential of the workforce and of the Australian labour market. Workplaces that support carers and parental leavers can reduce business costs related to recruitment, retraining and restructures, widen the talent pool, increase organisational productivity and performance and improve organisational reputation.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has identified four steps to successfully supporting carers and parental leavers in the workplace:

  1. Establish strong foundations
  2. Support pregnant employees and employees planning to take parental leave
  3. Value employees on parental leave
  4. Enable a successful return to work and support for working parents

​The following link provides important tools for employers to understand their legal obligations and best practice.

1 Establish strong foundations

2 Support pregnant employees and employees planning to take parental leave

3 Value employees on parental leave
Enable a successful return to work and support for working parentsThe following link provides important tools for employers to understand their legal obligations and best practice.

Tools:

Supporting Working Parents

 

How is domestic and family violence a workplace issue?

Domestic and family violence is prevalent throughout the Australian community. 800,000 women in the paid workforce are currently or have recently lived in a relationship characterised by violence. Domestic and family violence has a cost – on women experiencing violence and on the workplace. KPMG estimates that domestic and family violence will cost Australian businesses $609 million annually by 2021.

Workplaces can make a difference. They can provide support to employees experiencing violence, provide them with crucial economic independence and ensure perpetrators do not use work resources to carry out their abuse. 

Tools:

Take action on Domestic and Family Violence (MCC)

Let's change the story: Violence against women in Australia (Our Watch) 

 

How can I find more information?

Following are some useful links to find out more information about organisational diversity and how to leverage the benefits of a diverse workforce:

Diversity Council of Australia 

Male Champions of Change

Australian Human Rights Commission

 

Other useful resources:

Contact us. You can contact Diversity Committee Property Council staff member in your state or territory.


In the News

CEOs say redefining merit is the key to promoting women
Australian Financial Review, 24 August 2016 - There's a backlash by male middle managers against women getting promoted according to Chief Executive Women and the Male Champions of Change. In their joint report In the Eye of the Beholder – Avoiding the Merit Trap they say merit must be redefined to include broader leadership skills and potential. [pay wall]
To find out more and download In the Eye of the Beholder, click here.

Mirvac chief sees the sense in diversity
Australian Financial Review, 25 July 2016 - The Mirvac chief was one of seven women property leaders interviewed for a new study into women's pathways into and through the property industry. The study, Grow the Talent Pool – Insights on gender representation in property, was released on Monday by the Property Council and EY. EY's market segment leader for Real Estate, Construction, Leisure and Hospitality, Doug Bain, said the key drivers of success for women in property were found to be the support of management, the opportunity for a career path and a passion for the industry. [pay wall]

Property industry still a boys club: EY survey
The Australian, 26 July 2016 - The report, “Grow the talent pool — Insights on gender representation in property”, surveyed more than 3800 people in the property industry and interviewed seven women in leadership roles. The survey was undertaken by EY, which is part of the Male Champions of Change group of 18 companies. EY last week released key figures showing 62 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men surveyed identified the “industry’s boys’ club mentality” as the number one barrier to women entering the property industry. [pay wall]

Property Council and EY release ground breaking gender profile report
Property Council of Australia, 25 July 2016 - The Property Council of Australia and EY have released a groundbreaking study into women's pathways into and through the property industry, and the drivers to their recruitment, retention and promotion. “This study takes the pulse of the men and women who work in this industry and provides unique insights in how to grow the talent pool,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia.

Shifting the diversity dial
Property Council of Australia, 20 July 2016 - A new report identifies the property industry’s ‘boys’ club’ mentality and a lack of diversity in senior leadership as some of the top barriers women face in their journey towards reaching executive leadership roles. Carol Schwartz AM, Convenor of the Property Male Champions or Change, says the research shows organisations need to start actively and intentionally creating pathways for women to leadership positions to achieve change.

Property industry's jobs for boys in way of women's success: report
The Australian, 20 July 2016 - The latest report by the Property Male Champions of Change group, which is seeking to break down historical gender barriers in the sector, found 62 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men identified the “industry’s boys’ club mentality” as the number one barrier to women entering the property industry. “The industry is hamstrung by a culture that is still far too blokey and that excludes too many women. That’s not going to change unless senior leaders own the problem and do something about it,’’ said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia. [pay wall]

Yes, property is a boys club and its leaders aim to change
The Australian Financial Review, 20 July 2016 - The convenor of the Property Male Champions of Change, Carol Schwartz, said the report was courageous. "This is what the research is telling us, and this is what we are committed to change," she said. "There is no silver bullet but the leadership, and the commitment to change, will make a difference." [pay wall].

Women in Property industry must speak up on gender equality: Green buildings CEO
The Guardian, 10 Feb 2016 - Romilly Madew, the chief executive of the Green Building Council Australia acknowledges that there are several men in the building industry who are actively seeking more women in their senior-level positions. She highlights Ben Johnston, the CEO of property owners and managers GPT, who has achieved a 50/50 split of women and men at non-executive director level, and Ken Morrison, the CEO of the Property Council of Australia, who has helped set up the Property Male Champions of Change group to drive gender equality in the industry.

Buildcorp looks at other sectors to attract more women
Australian Financial Review, 8 Feb 2016 - A key theme for many employers this year is the issue of working flexibly. It's not happening as fast as it should, says Carol Schwartz, a Stockland director and convenor of the Property Male Champions of Change program. [pay wall]

Gender diversity and pay fairness in property more rhetoric than action: survey
Australian Financial Review, 15 Oct 2015 - Property Council of Australia President Mark Steinert speaks on the Property Male Champions of Change gender diversity initiative. [pay wall]