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Championing Change

Representation of women in leadership positions across the industry has risen to 44.8 per cent – so the Property Champions of Change has zeroed in on two ‘tough spots’: capital transactions and leasing.

To tackle the tough spots, a new ‘Pitch Pledge’ was unveiled by chief executive of CBRE’s Pacific advisory business Phil Rowland, Office CEO at Charter Hall Carmel Hourigan, and head of real estate at AMP Capital Kylie O’Connor.

The pledge aims to ensure at least one woman is part of the bid and receiving teams on both sides of any transaction. Hourigan called this measure, and a complementary pilot cadet program, “game-changers”.

Hourigan, who was part of Australia’s delegation to the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in 2019, said she had “no doubt” Australia’s collaborative approach was world-leading. “Our group is so productive because we come together as an industry – and that is unusual.”

This approach is delivering dividends. The 24 members of the Property Champions of Change reported that recruitment of women rose to 49.9 per cent in 2021 and promotions to 42.9 per cent.

Rowland noted the high levels of “accountability and ownership” among the Property Champions of Change members. “Eighty-five per cent of organisations have leadership KPIs tied to gender, and 95 per cent are reporting on pay equity. It’s very normalised in senior leadership accountability.”

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