Our placing in the UK Social Mobility Employer Index highlights how we can no longer afford to view diversity as optional.
I am pleased that JLL featured in 30th position because of our work to open our doors to a diverse talent pool. Historically it has been the case that landing that all important first role in property often came about because of personal connections and networks. It concerns me to know that we could be missing out on some of the brightest and most talented young people, just because historically that is how the sector has operated.
For us, socio-economic diversity, and indeed all aspects of diversity, is an integral part of the future of our business. It’s also important to the cities we live in. I recently attended a thought-provoking and inspiring lecture co-sponsored and hosted by JLL, delivered by Dame Vivian Hunt, Managing Partner for McKinsey & Company UK & Ireland, as part of the Honor Chapman Memorial Lectures, on “How inclusive leadership leads to inclusive growth”. At the event, Dame Vivian said: “If, as a city, we remake our organizations to be diverse and inclusive, imagine the value we could realise. Preparing for cultural, technological, and economic change over the coming decades means building and scaling a city to be inclusive”. This perfectly sums up JLL’s aim in terms of helping the industry to become more diverse. Dame Vivian was named as one of the most influential black women in Britain by the Powerlist Foundation and identified by the FT as one of the European Women to Watch, and more recently as one of the 30 most influential people in the City of London. You can watch highlights of the event here:
Because we think diversity is so important we’re focused on recruiting and retaining the very best and brightest talent from a wide range of backgrounds. I am only too aware that there are many talented students in schools and colleges across the country with huge potential that are missing out on opportunities because of their socio-economic background and not having connections into the property industry. I believe that we can do more at JLL to open ourselves up and help the industry to become more diverse.
We’ve found that removing A-level and GCSE academic requirements for graduate roles, the introduction of the Rare Contextual Recruitment tool and growing our apprenticeship programme has helped us to start to address the balance.
I’m personally committed to continually challenging our current ways of working to ensure that we select from the widest pool of candidates that better reflects the clients and communities that we interact with.
While there is still work to be done, my hope is that other industry peers and partners will join us on this important journey to diversify our industry.