Male Champions of Change, the property industry’s HeForShe

Male Champions of Change, the property industry’s HeForShe
Male Champions of Change, the property industry’s HeForShe

In a move reminiscent of the recent HeForShe movement from the UN, popularised by Emma Watson, the Property Council of Australia (PCA) has formulated a group called Male Champions of Change (MCC) to push for gender equality in the property industry.

The Male Champions of Change has been around in Australia since 2010, established by Sex Discrimination Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission Elizabeth Broderick – many years prior to the HeForShe movement. This is the first time the property industry is making a big push to get involved.

The founding Champions included Qantas chief executive and managing director Alan Joyce, ANZ chief executive Mike Smith, CBA chief executive Ian Narev, Telstra chief executive David Thodey and Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Ian Watt.

Former national president of the PCA Carol Schwartz will convene the MCC, which is expected to include senior leaders from development, construction, investment, funds management and agencies.

"All the research tells us that companies with gender diverse leadership teams show greater profitability and higher levels of innovation. It’s a testament to the Male Champions that they demonstrated leadership on this issue and have inspired others to do so," Schwartz said.

"Now it's the property industry's turn to influence this issue and really compete in the war for talent. Harnessing the talents of women has the potential to drive economic growth and prosperity and should be a national priority.”

She pointed to many initiatives that have taken place within the property industry, which will provide a foundation for the Champions’ charter and action plan.

Broderick said that women have been largely responsible for the gains made so far, but said that more is needed.

"Through the MCC strategy, men step up beside women and contribute their influence to accelerate this work and disrupt the status quo,” she said.

"I commend the Property Council for leading the change needed in the property industry, which is one of our country's largest employers.”

She has been seen tweeting and Facebooking her support for #HeForShe.

Current PCA chief executive Ken Morrison said that increasing the number of women in property leadership roles, and increasing the number of women attracted to work in the property industry, is important.

"The formation of the PMCC builds on the Property Council's diversity programs and we are excited to have Carol lead this extremely important group and help it create its foundation charter," Morrison said.

Joint managing director at Investa, Ming Long, was previously noted by Morrison for “her drive in taking the initiative to this point”.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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