Challenging the definition of success, and it doesn’t need to start with higher education

The property industry has moved the dial considerably in recent years to diversify its talent pool but there is still much more to do to reflect the make-up of the population.

This takes patience, commitment and different approaches to overcome these historic challenges and for these changes to truly cut through. 

If we want to represent the modern world, its people and places, we need more insightful views offered from a much wider and diverse talent pool that can come together as one and collaborate successfully on the best projects and ideas.

Cluttons has been actively challenging what success looks like within its leadership team and cascading both up and down amongst employees, opening minds to different backgrounds and experiences that lead to success, rather than what some still see as the ‘normal’ route.

Yes our recruitment methods recognise diversity and we are trained in fair selection methods but we also go much further than this. We partner with Building People that actively connects us to under-represented groups in order to reach new talent and raise awareness of our business, and industry, to new and wider audiences.

While our graduates tend to come from university backgrounds, this is a reflection of the RICS requirements to have relevant real estate qualifications and we, as an industry, need to seek to change this ‘need’ for the better. In the meantime, we actively seek to work with universities that attract diversity in their student population, and we have an apprenticeship route for a number of teams, using our levy to raise skills and advance careers of our current intake.

We also support communities local to our properties and offices to provide educational opportunities for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups in our profession working with GLA & West London Careers Hub’s London Enterprise Scheme, amongst other initiatives.

One of the things we are most proud of as a business is our commitment to developing talent – whether this is as a property expert or in our operational and functional roles. We have experts that have been recognised early and fast-tracked to a position of responsibility or seniority that reflects their skills, regardless of age. 

Recently we promoted our first ever non-fee earner to an equity partner and promoted one of our senior surveyors who has returned from maternity leave to associate despite not currently being chartered. We have trainee surveyors without RICS accredited degrees who we support to sit their APC in time and are promoted in the meantime based on their skills and commitment regardless.

One of our equity partners joined us without a degree and studied part-time to learn from the College of Estate Management. As a demonstration of no educational barriers, he is now on our exec board and heads up the Management business unit.

We believe in assessing an individual’s potential and talent and supporting them accordingly. A degree is not a necessity in today’s world, and we hope to broaden our talent pool still further by communicating this effectively through many channels and by working collectively with others to ensure the message cuts through. Property is all about the people, and it’s the uniqueness of each individual that builds a brilliant company.


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Angela Foreman

HR director

Head office

T +44 (0) 20 7647 7377
Angela Hughes