Held on a quarterly basis, Carter Jonas’ Diversity & Inclusion Network (D&IN) last met on 22 May in our Birmingham office. Mark Granger, Chief Executive of Carter Jonas, joined colleagues from across the firm to hear from guest speaker, Alison Grunstein of OpenLand.
Established in 2016, OpenLand is the Midlands Networking Group for LGBT property professionals and allies. OpenLand now has 150 members, with representation from developers, surveyors, planners, and property lawyers. Its team host a number of networking events and Carter Jonas will be joining them at their panel discussion later this month on 26 June at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. For more information please visit www.openland.org.uk.
The aim of the Carter Jonas’ D&IN is to put diversity and inclusion high on the agenda, get people talking, and raise awareness and support across the business for everyone.
Recent initiatives championed by the network, in collaboration with our Management Board, include Carter Jonas signing up to the Scope, Work with Me Pledge. This supports everyday equality for people with disabilities. As part of the process, Carter Jonas has been reviewing the accessibility of our website for job seekers with disabilities, increasing our accessibility to 78%. Additionally, we have partnered with The Daisy Chain, a platform to enable parents to find suitable career opportunities and connect them to family-friendly employers.
In December, we launched the Perceptions of Gender in the workplace survey which received 98 responses. The responses enabled us to form an action plan to further support work/life balance at Carter Jonas in order to aid staff retention and the support of talented individuals in conjunction with their personal lives.
We have also launched a Carter Jonas Family Network – an internal information portal that supports group discussion and updates. The network assists people returning to work and provides key information from across the firm. We involve people in the network when they start and encourage active participation to support others.
Moving forward, we are in discussions to sign-up to The Time to Change Pledge, which is an external commitment to changing how we think and act about mental health in the workplace and demonstrate our support to our people. The Time to Change campaign is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. We have created an action plan with the Management Board, which has been signed-off by Time to Change; a key action is Mental Health Awareness training for everyone in the business. The training has been created internally, using guides provided by MIND and ACAS, and is currently being piloted by the D&I Committee and other volunteers. It is set to be launched across the business later in the summer.
The next D&IN is on 4 September in Peterborough where the topic will be mental health awareness (guest speaker to be confirmed).