31 MAY 2019
Pride is just around the corner and to kick off our month-long celebration, RICS staff walked alongside our professionals at this year’s Birmingham Pride, the biggest event in their 22-year history.
Walking with OpenLand – the LGBTQ+ network for property and construction professionals across the Midlands – RICS joined those working across surveying, planning, architecture and law to join a 5,000 strong parade of business partners, community groups, unions and more in solidarity of championing the theme #loveoutloud.
The 2019 theme of #loveoutloud is one that should echo across the entire sector as we strive to become more inclusive employers. As West Midlands’ Mayor Andy Street said, in his opening speech ahead of this year’s parade: "Everyone should feel safe to be themselves, without experiencing prejudice or discrimination."
Creating inclusive workplaces: It is now well known that diverse workplaces result in more profitable companies, have greater market attractiveness and enhance their corporate reputation. Through actively promoting an inclusive workplace and improving diversity, conflict between groups is reduced, which in turn can help improve collaboration and loyalty to the workplace.
Greater work-life balance: RICS actively works with LionHeart – the charity for RICS professionals, part and present to support them whenever life throws them a curve ball – to support the promotion of their events and services. Anecdotally, those who feel they can bring their whole self to work actively perform better in the workplace and aren't as stressed.
Boosting training: To create an inclusive workplace unconscious bias training can assist in progressing cultural change and is a step towards ensuring that all people, regardless of difference, have a contribution to make and successes to achieve.
Barry Cullen, RICS Diversity & Inclusion Director commented: "Respecting and valuing differences, with a commitment to equal treatment and equal opportunity, ensures that firms can deliver policies and outcomes which are fair and transparent as well as ensuring that businesses are fit and relevant for the future.
"Birmingham Pride's theme of Love Out Loud is one that should resonate throughout the built environment. Everyone has the right to bring their whole self to work and be heard. We are proud to be included at this year's event, and thank OpenLand for the opportunity to promote how RICS and our profession are inclusive."
Everyone has the right to bring their whole self to work and be heard.
RICS Diversity & Inclusion Director
Paul Barker, Partner at Higgs & Sons and Co-Chair at OpenLand commented: "Our mission at OpenLand is to address the equality gap experienced by those professionals working in the sector who identify as LGBT. We operate in sectors that have traditionally lagged behind others in responding to issues around sexual orientation and identity, so to see such support at this year's Pride shows the progress that is being made across the industry."
Companies are starting to reap the benefits of having an inclusive workplace and so the growth of internal and external networks which aim to promote, support and inspire people to bring their whole self to work, will hopefully continue to prosper."
RICS will be raising its rainbow flag in support of Pride Month this June. As an inclusive employer, with a CEO who has been recognised in this year's 'Agent of Change' list, we will be joining the celebrations with rainbow lanyards and will be kick starting a social media campaign. We are on the look-out for supporters to share with us their stories about how inclusive the industry is and where further support is needed.