The best way to help develop leaders is by connecting them to current leaders who will sponsor and champion their advancement
Creating opportunities that drive gender equality is not just the obvious or right thing to do, it’s responsible business. Responsible investing and engagement on issues of inclusion is in our DNA.
Taking the lead from our parent company, TIAA, which has five decades of focus on ESG factors, innovation, and investing in companies with diverse boards and employees, Nuveen Real Estate is dedicated to creating better outcomes for our investors and the planet, while simultaneously seeking to change the face of the real estate industry.
The industry simply loses out on the talent, ideas and abilities of half the population if women don’t participate. At Nuveen, we believe there are three main ways we can empower women: early training; access to role models; and sponsorship.
A lack of confidence has been found to be one of the biggest reasons women don’t put themselves forward for senior positions. Therefore, innovative training initiatives that focus on building confidence at the early stages of a woman’s career are helpful in empowering them and equipping them with the confidence for future challenges. We also believe that providing networking and development opportunities with female role models will help women advance their careers. A strong professional network established early in their career helps advance employees and build their confidence.
At Nuveen, we believe the best way to help develop leaders is by connecting them to current leaders who will sponsor and champion their advancement. Supporting Future Female Leaders gives us an opportunity to lead the dialogue on gender diversity in a practical way, facilitating networking and development opportunities for professional women in the real estate industry.
We are very pleased to put Manreet Randhawa forward as our candidate for Future Female Leaders. Having first started as a trainee in the performance measurement team at our business in 2010, she has excelled in several different teams at Nuveen Real Estate and is now a senior portfolio manager on the Janus Henderson UK Property PAIF managed by Nuveen Real Estate. She works closely with the fund managers on strategy development and investor relations and is responsible for producing key fund and property-level metrics. She encompasses our values of putting the client first, operating as one team, delivering excellence and taking personal accountability.
Mike Sales is head of Nuveen Real Estate and Real Assets
We may not be sprinting towards completely even representation across the board, but we are certainly putting our best foot forward
The UK government would appear to be making slow progress on Brexit, but it got on the front foot this week by publishing an update from the Hampton-Alexander Review – to encourage all FTSE 350 companies to have 33% representation of women on their boards by 2020.
No doubt progress has been made on gender equality, but there is still much more work to be done. For those who missed it, the review announced that FTSE 100 companies are nearly there, with 32.1% representation of women at the board-level, while the FTSE 250 still has some way to go, with 27.5% of those positions held by women.
Nearly a third is an admirable and attainable goal, but it is still way off the 51% of women that make up our country as a whole. Surely we should set our sights on achieving at least half.
For us at Greystar, we are proud that our management team in the UK comprises an even split of four men and four women. But we realise that this figure is only going to be maintained by significant investment in the leaders of tomorrow – particularly the women leaders of tomorrow.
This is one of the reasons we are excited to work with EG on its Future Female Leaders programme.
Our chosen candidate, Eva Kiivit, joined the Greystar team in 2016, as a community manager for our first student development in Lewisham. She then quickly established her credentials by launching several developments and moved into our multifamily operations team where she launched our Sailmakers development in Canary Wharf. Now coordinating Greystar-owned assets in the UK, Kiivit has built an exceptional reputation for her management of internal and external stakeholders and is a highly regarded leader by her colleagues and project partners.
While there is no one programme or initiative that will unilaterally fix the gender imbalance problem in the workplace, we are proud of our work on this issue, from our mentoring programme, to the work of our global leadership and diversity committee, our membership of Real Estate Balance, and our support of the Forte Foundation and Girls Who Invest.
I am confident we at Greystar and in the real estate sector more generally are on the right path to getting where we need to be. We may not be sprinting towards completely even representation across the board, but we are certainly putting our best foot forward.
Mark Allnutt is senior managing director, Greystar UK
Pictured above (from left): Sandeep Dhillon, cabinet office; Victoria Ireland, Cluttons; Manreet Randhawa, Nuveen; Kathryn Cripps, Knight Frank; Eva Kiivit, Greystar; Helen Lowe, BW; Emily Hamilton, Grosvenor; Helen Davis, Arup; Anna Parry, Hayes Davidson; Alanna Hasek, DLA Piper. Not pictured: Hana Hassan, Willmott Dixon
Portrait by Louise Haywood-Schiefer
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