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According to LinkedIn 2023 Talent Insights, 29% of professionals identify as female compared to 71% of male in the Property, Real Estate and Construction sectors.

The real estate sector has one of the highest disparities between the proportion of women in the higher paid quartiles and the rest of the workforce. Representation of women in senior roles is the main driver of gender pay gaps in this sector.

We spoke with Michelle Gyimah, Gender Pay Gap Strategist and founder of Equality Pays, to learn about why reporting is important and how to implement a strategy to drive positive change.

How can the property industry promote a more inclusive and equitable environment to ensure fair pay and career advancement opportunities for all employees, regardless of gender?

Acknowledge that taking pay gaps seriously isn’t just about equality. It’s  also a smart business move. The pay gap is the iceberg of organisational issues: beneath the surface, there’s a host of unaddressed problems. Unresolved, it chips away at your bottom line through lost productivity, decreased employee engagement and remediation costs. 

To get started you need to have data (both quantitative and qualitative) on what is happening within your organisation. Data on your leadership make-up, recruitment data, progression data, turnover data and review this all through a gender lens. What does it tell you about your organisation? What is new and surprising? What did you know and now has been confirmed? This will give you good grounding to know what areas you need to address and where you can make the most impact.

When deciding what you need to do, learn from others. Other sectors have faced, learned and are making an impact on this issue. There’s a wealth of knowledge and informed strategies that have been tried and tested. Their success stories and missteps are yours for you to learn from.

How important is transparency in addressing the gender pay gap? Should property companies be encouraged or mandated to disclose their pay data to increase accountability?

Pay gap reporting has increased visibility and pay gap accountability much faster than simply allowing organisations to choose if they wanted to collect and share this data. This alongside the impact of the global pandemic, has meant that employees (current and future), customers and stakeholders now place transparency on pay issues as high on their list of priorities.

There is now an expectation that employers not only have this data, but are transparent in what  they are doing to address these issues. So much so that we have seen increases in candidates asking questions about it at interviews and investors requesting more information prior to making investment decisions. I have a podcast episode here where I discuss this in more detail

In your opinion, what are some best practices for organisations within the property industry to conduct fair pay audits and identify and rectify gender pay disparities?

The best practices to rectify gender pay gap issues are the ones that follow the model of:
Understanding the what pay gaps are and how they show up in organisations
Appointing a senior influential sponsor, responsible for driving change
Creating accountability across the organisation (and sector) to implement change
Focus on education and support for directors and line managers to implement new initiatives 
I focus on these key elements in my online training ‘Sustainable ways to close your gender pay gap’ 

About Michelle Gyimah

“I’m a Pay Gaps Strategist. I specialise in supporting HR Directors to close their pay gaps sustainably.
One of the key aspects of the work I do with organisations is provide training on how to hold better pay and progression conversations. This is an essential tool to closing pay gaps.”

You can connect with Michelle on LinkedIn here.

Laura Croggon