The construction and property sectors are suffering their worst skills crisis in more than 20 years. There’s no quick fix, but by taking steps to build a more inclusive and diverse workforce, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) strongly believe that it is possible to encourage more staff to stay in these vital industries and to grow the country’s skills base.
As the leading professional body for these sectors, at RICS we believe we have a duty and an ambition to act as a catalyst for change across the profession. We are supporting workplace diversity and inclusion in many ways, just one of those is by creating the RICS Inclusive Employer Quality Mark (IEQM).
Launched just over a year ago, the quality mark is a way to encourage companies to look carefully at their employment practices and take action to put inclusivity at the heart of what they do. The quality mark is the benchmark for inclusion and diversity in land, property and construction, and is based on six principles of leadership and vision, recruitment, staff retention, staff development, staff engagement and continuous improvement. We’re really proud that the mark has recently reached its 110th signatory, and now covers more than 140,000 employees in total.
While we were developing the quality mark, RICS began to see that there was huge demand for a one-stop-shop where our members and member firms could share best practice and learn from each other how best to embed diversity and inclusion principles in their workplace. That’s why we created the industry’s first Diversity Hub – an online portal where members and external bodies can do just that. We’re encouraging businesses large and small to join the conversation and share their innovative approaches to innovation.
Finally, RICS wants to make sure that the land, property and construction professions are as open and inclusive as possible to drive the diversity agenda forward. We believe that this comes through empowering our members and organising events, like celebrating Coming Out Day at RICS HQ for the LGBT community and its allies. Our UK-wide networking lunches usually include a panel of industry representatives and concentrate on improving D&I practices in the land, property and construction sectors.
As a professional body, RICS is here to offer firms advice, guidance and support and to lead the way in the industry by driving the diversity and inclusion agenda.
To get involved or to find out more about the RICS approach, please contact Lucile Kamar, RICS Equalities Manager firstname.lastname@example.org.