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11 JUN 2021

Pride 2021: Inspiring the next generation is key to positive social impact

For Pride 2021, RICS is giving a platform to its professionals to talk on the LGBTQ+ issues that matter to them. Still in the early stage of his career, we heard from Robin, who identifies as Black and LGBTQ+, on how his generation and those that follow are can work together to deliver a positive social impact.  

“Aside from the obvious pandemic, 2020 will go down as being one of the most catalytic years in our history and quite tragically, it took the murder of a man named George Floyd to ignite the conversation of diversity and inclusion across the world. The Black Lives Matter movement has put the importance of diversity into sharp focus and while we strive to make improvements in our industry, there is so much more to be done.”  

“To work within the built environment is to take an oath to create places that benefit the wider society. But right now, this industry is not reflective of the society it’s serving” remarked Robin when talking on the value of diversity in the profession.  

When it comes to statistics, Robin is keen to emphasise that a diverse workforce is more than just an ethical statement.  

“75% of companies with more diverse and inclusive teams will exceed their financial targets, outperforming their less inclusive counterparts by 50% (stats from; Purdue Global). A more diverse workforce is proven to breed more innovation, efficiencies and ultimately, profit. Any economist will tell you that the key to building a resilient and sustainable portfolio is diversification and the same principle applies here.” 

A more diverse workforce is proven to breed more innovation, efficiencies and ultimately, profit. Any economist will tell you that the key to building a resilient and sustainable portfolio is diversification and the same principle applies here.

Robin’s passion for increasing diversity and inclusion in the industry shines through in this discussion, as does his optimism for the future of the profession.  

“A flood gate of talented professionals is waiting to be opened up, and only then will we begin to see change within our communities. Both LGBTQ+ and Black cultures are the most highly replicated in the media and yet we remain underrepresented in almost every other industry. I hope there will be a time when there is a seat at the table for everyone, where our thoughts can be shared and collectively woven into the built environment.”  

It could seem that a Diversity and Inclusion strategy sits firmly on the desks of Human Resources, or specialist Diversity analysts, but in Robin’s experience in the property industry, small acts by everyone can go a long way.   

“The day-to-day micro-interactions that we have with colleagues and clients may pass by unnoticed but can have a lasting impact in creating a workplace where everybody can thrive. For example, asking a colleague ‘how is your boyfriend?’ It’s a simple question, but for an LGBTQ+ person it could not only brighten their day but validate their existence.” 

RICS ​is supporting the next generation to become future leaders in the profession, and leading and inspiring change across the globe for people to join this profession and deliver a positive social impact. Robin offers his advice for the next generation.  

“My advice would be, find your people. Whether that be in a workplace, through everyday networking or digital communities. There is a space for you.  

There are many people like myself out there, trying to create more seats at the table for the next generation of built environment professionals. I believe that things are only going to get better.”  

We are RICS. Everything we do is designed to effect positive change in the built and natural environments. Through our respected global standards, leading professional progression and our trusted data and insight, we promote and enforce the highest professional standards in the development and management of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure.   

Our work with others provides a foundation for confident markets, pioneers better places to live and work and is a force for positive social impact.  

LionHeart, the charity for RICS members, can offer free and confidential support and advice to any LGBTQ+ professional, including counselling and coaching. Support is also available for your life partner.