RICS launches new diversity initiative

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The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has announced it is launching a new initiative aimed at making the property and construction sector more inclusive and diverse…

A new initiative will launch next month aimed at creating more diversity in the construction and property industry.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) worked within the industry and its professionals to discern what works and what can be done differently. This research prompted the organisation to launch the Inclusive Employers Quality Mark.

The initiative aims to help firms to gain a competitive advantage, as well as a diverse workforce. It asks employers to pledge their commitment to adopting several key principles. This includes engaging and attracting new people to the industry from underrepresented groups.

The initiative will focus on the development of training and promotional policies that offer equal opportunities for career progression. Other measures will include the introduction of flexible working arrangements and adaptive working practices. It is hoped this will create an inclusive culture that allows staff to develop, deliver, monitor, and assess the diversity and inclusivity policies.

Additionally, the RICS wants to see firms continually renew and refresh its commitments to diversity and inclusivity, as well as sharing best practice with the wider sector.

Two separate criteria metrics will be used to ensure both small and large firms receive fair assessment. The RICS will then use this to document the outcomes and trends for the sector.

Signatories will be required to assess on a bi-annual basis the actions being taken and the outcomes to date. Once a firm becomes a signatories they will gain access to details that highlight their performance within the standards. The RICS will publish the signatories on their website. Employers involved in the scheme will be able to use the tagline “signatory to the RICS Inclusive Employers Quality Mark” alongside the logo.

RICS President Louise Brooke-Smith said: “This initiative has been discussed with, and has the support and encouragement of, a number of leading firms, both large and small, across the land and property sector.

“Employee needs are changing, along with their expectations and demographic make-up. The competitive war for talent has also shifted the focus to attracting and retaining talent in the industry.

“Only by doing so, can we deliver a sustainable future. By committing to the Quality Mark, firms will gain a competitive advantage.

“An inclusive approach allows organisations to reflect and engage with their clients more effectively and efficiently.”

External Affairs Director at Kim Worts said if the current workforce statistics do not improve, Britain will stop building in 2019.

She added: “We must ensure this does not become a reality. We need to bring more skilled and qualified people into our sector, and until we change the culture in the workplace, we are not going to attract the brightest and the best.

“The Quality Mark will put RICS at the heart of the profession, leading on rewarding and sharing best practice, and recognising and promoting the work of firms, whatever their size, who are striving towards creating an inclusive workforce.

“An inclusive workforce is a competitive workforce, mirroring both their clients and the community. Real change will not happen overnight, but we want firms to commit to the journey with us.”

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