On the day of the #Windrush70 anniversary celebrations at 10 Downing Street, DiverseCity Surveyors' Board Members and other selected DCS guests, including the RICS, were invited to share their stories, concerns and ideas with the PM's office.
The team set off from RICS HQ on Parliament Square, together with Barry Cullen, RICS Diversity & Inclusion Director, and a host of DCS members. An extended invitation was also made to Ms Priya Shah, founder of BAME in Property, a strategic partner in the field of 'change' with a common purpose / denominator, seeking greater ethnicity and senior level representation across the built environment professions in the UK.
In an extremely relaxed setting afforded to us by Nero Ughwujabo, Special Advisor [SA] to PM [Theresa May] himself, the first black SA to any UK Prime Minister, the team progressed with an introduction of the 'why' behind DiverseCity Surveyors and their future aspirations for the profession, with a focus on the #nextgen talent pool.
A key frustration for many in the room was the demonstrable lack of career opportunity within the more established firms, but this was countered by emerging freedoms to 'engage in the BAME conversation' that should ultimately translate into sustainable and measurable progress at Board Level [at least that is the hope!]. Similarly, the current models of government procurement were discussed and the future intentions of regarding its public purchasing power and desire to work closer with SME's [and, consequentially, micro-businesses] was considered at length and in contrast to those activities that had led to economic empowerment in the US. It was heartening to observe the governments commitment to 'fairness' and the establishment of 'policy change' in pursuit of social justice. It was also truly refreshing to observe younger DCS members in the room voice their concerns, most of which appeared to be in the 'pipeline of change' via the Race and Disparity Audit; so watch this space!
Bola Abisogun FRICS, DCS Chair [R] sharing a 'moment of reflection' with Nero Ughwujabo, Special Advisor [L], who himself had achieved a noteworthy and historic achievement with both DiverseCity Surveyors and RICS.
It's time to get serious [with our serious face on......!]
Bola Abisogun FRICS, DCS Chair [L] and Justin Carty MRICS, DCS Vice Chair and Senior Director at CBRE [R], agree to take DCS to the next level and engage with other interested groups and areas of the real estate sector as we attempt to lead on the BAME conversation in and across the surveying and built environment professions.
To read up on the governments Race and Disparity Audit, please click here