The Property Champions of Change have announced the ‘Pitch Pledge’, an initiative designed to ensure at least one woman is involved in every major leasing or capital transaction assignment.

The pledge was unveiled by a number of Property Champions of Change Directors at The Property Congress national conference in Hobart last week.

The initiative is similar to the Panel Pledge that was adopted by the industry in 2015. The Pitch Pledge aims to build female talent and greater inclusion across both institutional and agency operators in these transactional based business areas.

Property Champions of Change Chair and GPT Group CEO Bob Johnston says the pledge seeks to improve gender equity in capital transactions and leasing.

“This is a significant move that sends a very strong message to our sector,” he says.

AMP Capital’s Head of Real Estate Kylie O’Connor echoed Johnston’s sentiments.

“So often at the moment, major deals in property take place without any women on either side of the table, and if we are to change that, we must collectively act,” she says.

CBRE’s Pacific Advisory Business CEO Phil Rowland says the pledge is one plank of a 5-point plan to help women participate, grow and develop in two of the property industry’s most male-dominated areas.

“Pledges from senior leaders, like this, have the potential to have great impact. Here we have some of our industry’s most powerful figures – Chief Executives and Managing Partners – saying we are taking a stand to improve our talent pipelines and the career prospects for women,” he says.

Office CEO at Charter Hall Carmel Hourigan says the Pledge is designed to create change in an industry typically dominated by male-led transactions.

“Importantly, we are not making this pledge because it looks or sounds good. It is about both sides of the industry, institutional and agency, coming together to make a difference and accelerate change,” she says.

“We understand that given the current low representation of women in some existing capital transaction and leasing teams, there won’t always be a woman in the room right now. But this new pledge aims to change that picture over time in a collaborative way. If that situation emerges, it is up to the participants to ask the tough questions about why, and what steps we are taking to ensure women are part of the business to come.”

The announcement additionally included a commitment to introduce a new pilot cadetship program in 2023 for up to 15 women at the beginning of their career, who will be placed in capital markets and commercial leasing teams in Property Champions of Change organisations. A remuneration toolkit has also been created to support best practice in the attraction and retention of women in the sector.

The Property Champions of Change is an initiative of the Property Council of Australia and the Champions of Change Coalition established in 2015 to increase the number of women in leadership roles within the property industry.

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