Lucile Kamar is equalities manager at RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). She advises stakeholders on diversity and related issues, as well as outreach strategy. Lucile has worked in France and the United States, as well as the UK in the third sector, government and politics.
RICS hosted its second Diversity & Inclusion conference in London on 29th June 2016. One year on from the launch of RICS Inclusive Employer Quality Mark (IEQM), this event signaled a crucial shift in conversation from theory to practical application.
My career to date
After completing a Masters in Human Rights Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I started my career in the charity sector, focusing on empowering disadvantaged children. I have been working in the diversity and inclusion sector for the past three years, first with the Liberal Democrats and in my current role as equalities manager at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. I am passionate about creating a better workplace by improving its diversity and inclusivity.
RICS Diversity & Inclusion Conference
RICS recently hosted a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) conference in London where around 200 delegates exchanged ideas with a line-up of inspirational speakers. Attendees debated the best ways to move the D&I agenda forward. Guests such as CEO of HS2 – Simon Kirby, Partner at MHBC – Toni Belcher, and Paralympian – Marc Powell, shared their personal journeys and encouraged delegates to get involved in their D&I agendas.
A wide range of thought-provoking topics based on the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark (IEQM) six principles of leadership and vision, recruitment, staff development, staff retention, staff engagement and continuous improvement were covered. The day also focused on how to attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce. Guests looked at D&I at board level, and shared best practice from other industries including the Law Society.
Our newly-inaugurated President, Amanda Clack, launched the first version of the Building inclusivity: Laying the foundations for the future report. The report highlights the work we are doing to increase D&I in the sector. This includes the IEQM (launched in June 2015) and an online platform allowing members to exchange ideas on how to build a diverse workforce, sharing case studies for employers and employees alike.
Why D&I should be part of an organisation’s corporate objectives
The response to the Conference was really positive from various attendees ranging from HR professionals to CEOs and senior leaders. This proved that D&I isn’t solely a HR issue, but rather should be part of the corporate objectives, and I am proud to say that this is the case at RICS. This was a very action-oriented conference with most of the delegates pledging to drive change as a result of attending the conference.
Sharing best practice
Best practice sharing is going to be key in leading the D&I agenda forward and achieving change efficiently and quickly. Our recent report, Building inclusivity: Laying the foundations for the future, highlighted the current state of the land, construction and property professions and the current gaps. RICS will therefore launch a Diversity Hub, an online platform promoting best practice and successful case studies for employers and employees alike to address the gaps highlighted in the report. Check www.rics.org/diversity for more information.
Member-led D&I priorities
RICS President, Amanda Clack FRICS, set out three priorities for her term – one of them is the War for Talent which really highlights RICS’ commitment to promote the D&I agenda. Our D&I priorities stem from a demand from our members and we are focusing on ensuring that the land, construction and property professions are as relevant and fit for the future as possible.
Our Inclusive Employer Quality Mark is based on six principles (Leadership and Vision, Recruitment, Staff Engagement, Staff Retention, Staff Development and Continuous improvement) and there are currently 100 signatories and counting! I would encourage companies to look at the IEQM and its benefits and sign up.
Most people understand now that there is a business case for diversity and the current context calls for even more understanding and strong leadership to ensure D&I remains a corporate priority. With women currently making up 13% of surveyors in the UK, there is a real need to encourage more women as it is a profession in which women can thrive.
Women of the Future Awards 2016: Nominate today
For a third year running, as part of RICS’ commitment to promoting diversity within the Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction sector, we are sponsoring this sector’s award at Women of the Future Awards 2016. These awards recognise female professionals, aged 35 or under, who shape the world we live in and they are calling on all professionals to nominate their inspiring female colleagues.
Priorities moving forward
There are many exciting D&I initiatives that RICS will be leading on including the launch of the Diversity Hub, Visible Women lunches in partnership with Women and Property [WiP], Diversity lunches in the UK regions, a monthly newsletter and a D&I Conference in June 2017. I look forward to meeting as many surveyors as possible from a variety of backgrounds and learn from their experience in their own field.