This is my second year attending MIPIM and, contrary to what most people think us recruiters are there to do, this year I am going to focus my meetings at MIPIM on diversity.
MIPIM 2019’s theme is engaging the future, the image of a young boy looking in awe of the buildings around him on the landing page of the MIPIM site. When I saw this I instantly thought; “why isn’t it a little girl?”.
It got me thinking. We go to the world’s biggest Property event to network but also to learn and engage on subjects which are not necessarily related to day to day recruitment activities. Diversity, one of those such topics, is a real buzz subject at the moment across all industries and certainly across Construction and Real Estate; an industry historically dominated by men.
According to figures for Office of National statistics, in 2016, approximately 27 million people were working in the UK, the divide between men and women was nearly 50-50. However, 2.3 million had jobs in the construction industry and only 296,000 were women. That means a split of 87-13 which, compared to other industries, is unacceptably low.
At MIPIM I want to gain some insight from leading industry figures as to why this is the case; and I won’t be aiming for purely female participation. I would like some sound-bites from many different people to try to understand this issue and what the people in this industry think we can do about it. For an industry so short on talent and with the need to modernise in many ways, I believe that attracting, nurturing and retaining a diverse workforce has never been so important as it is today.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to explore a few key aspects of this subject as much as I possibly can. From understanding what attracted various prominent female professionals to the Industry in the first place, understanding the challenges which clearly still exist to exploring the amazing benefits the industry can offer.
Finally, I will take some advice on what people believe we as individuals in the industry can do to influence change for the next generation.Where I would like to differentiate myself is to take this on, answer my questions and then, do something positive. Good old simple actions.
I have a number of ideas already but before committing, I want to understand where people feel my time and efforts are best spent.
Will that be spending time at grass roots level in schools? Working with clients to help find people work experience and exposure within the sector? Volunteering with charities or industry bodies to help deliver messages or create awareness?
Whatever it is, there will be action taken in 2019 and I think it starts at MIPIM.
Get in touch if you would like to discuss this topic with me and add your insight.More to come after MIPIM… stay tuned!