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Grosvenor on Future Female Leaders: the second coming

Category: Women, International Women's day, inspirational women, women in business, celebrating women

 Following the success of EG’s Future Female Leaders project in 2019, we have pledged to continue our programme of training the industry’s future leaders with at least two further cohorts in 2020.

Back in partnership with Ginger Public Speaking, a range of women from across the built environment will again be undergoing Ginger’s intense training schedule, learning the skills and building the confidence to be not just a future leader, but a leader today.

Culminating, just like in 2019, with a high-octane and overwhelmingly inspiring event in the summer, this year’s Future Female Leaders project kicks off officially on 20 February. But before we meet this year’s cohorts, let’s hear from some of our key partners on FFL: the second coming.

We need our business to reflect the breadth of the communities we serve. Not only that, we need to engage better with and listen more to them

James Raynor, chief executive, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Why Grosvenor is supporting Future Female Leaders

Seven years ago, an analysis of several thousand companies by Credit Suisse proved that businesses with at least one female board member outperformed their peers with no executive-level female representation by 26%. In the wake of the financial crisis, companies with women on the board also “strongly outperformed” those without.

More recently, the Harvard Business Review outlined a more nuanced benefit of genuine workplace diversity: “nonhomogeneous teams are simply smarter”. Working with people who are different from you (by any measure) challenges you to overcome entrenched ways of thinking and sharpens performance.

So apart from diversity being the “right” strategy, it’s also the “smart” choice. We are stretched, challenged and ultimately should perform better – collectively and individually. So why are we taking so long to achieve diversity when it benefits everyone involved in our businesses?

At Grosvenor, I’m proud that half of my executive team is female, but we are by no means as diverse as we should be.

One of the many routes to success is encouraging the talent we already have, which is why I immediately said yes to Future Female Leaders once again. The interest in the scheme this year was phenomenal, and we were inundated with submissions from specialists across our business at all levels.

Our first participant, Emily Hamilton, found it such a transformative experience that we invited the principle training provider, Ginger Public Speaking, to run a pilot programme for our teams.

The ability to tell a compelling and engaging story is an essential leadership capability, and the Future Female Leaders programme excels at helping people to do this.

Our commitment to supporting emerging female leaders is also illustrated by a partnership with Women Ahead. Grosvenor has provided 10 mentors and 10 mentees as part of this scheme.

For 2020, our future female leader is Nicola Wood. She is at the forefront of how we connect with communities and give them more power and influence in the development process.

With a background in sociology rather than planning or surveying, Nicola brings a fresh perspective to real estate and placemaking. She is part of a team, led by her colleague Kate Nottidge, which is able to navigate the technical requirements of the system while advocating for the tenants and residents most affected by our work.

This dedicated community engagement team is hugely in demand as we work to rebuild public trust in the planning system and developers. Their expertise is invaluable, both in terms of social and commercial value and because of the quality and diversity of thought that they bring to our work.

James Raynor is chief executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

 

 

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