Rachel Bell, Head of Business Development & Women in Property National Vice Chairman 2020/21, South West Chairman 2017/18
Just as gender equality, diversity and inclusion converges with the industry’s impending labour crisis, so it cannot be separated from issues of wellbeing in the workplace. The Gender Pay Gap reporting requirement was a wake-up call for us in Stride Treglown. Our first median score was a middling 28.7 %, and we knew we had to do better. Since then, we’ve set up a diversity and inclusion group and written a strategy aligned to the Bristol Equality Charter to direct every aspect of our working practices. What’s interesting is how it benefits all staff, not just the minorities. Our recruitment interview panels have diverse representation, making sure our prejudices don’t blind us to talent. We are exploring anonymising applications to avoid unconscious bias. We’ve adopted shared parental leave. We’re exploring job-sharing to allow talented women architects, for example, to continue their career even when they want to spend time with their children. It’s all working: our latest Gender Pay Gap median score was 23.4 %. The job facing all of us now is to keep the momentum up. We need to make the workplace more equal, diverse and inclusive. Apart from being morally good, this will unleash improved business performance, higher profits, and better staff recruitment and retention.