RICS professional appointed board member of OpenLand

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RICS professional, Stewart Sherman-Kahn MRICS has been appointed board member of Midlands based networking group OpenLand.

OpenLand who provide networking for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-professionals working in the real estate, property and construction sectors, strive to bring together people in order to promote diversity, encourage inclusivity and celebrate the contribution made by LGBT people to our sectors.

Stewart, a member of RICS West Midlands regional board and has long campaigned for greater diversity in the profession. Following the launch of the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark (IEQM) – a voluntary standard designed to help firms in the profession gain a competitive advantage and a diverse workforce – two years ago Stewart has been instrumental in the changes the surveying profession has made to make it more diverse and inclusive.

Speaking on his appointment Stewart commented: “I am honoured to have been appointed to the Board of OpenLand. I hope that while serving on this Board alongside the RICS West Midlands Board I will be able to raise the profile of both organisations. Groups for LGBT property professionals outside London have been sadly lacking and I hope that the programme of events will help plug that gap.”

Paul Barker, Partner at Higgs & Sons and Co-Chair of OpenLand commented: “My Co-Chair Rob Hudson (Group FD at St Modwen) and I are thrilled both that OpenLand is being supported by the RICS and to welcome Stewart as a member of our Board.  OpenLand’s aim is to bring people together from across the real estate, property and construction sectors to promote diversity, encourage inclusivity and celebrate the contribution made by LGBT people to our sectors in the Midlands. We believe that having the confidence to be yourself at work is essential to a successful and productive career. The more visible senior role models in the profession who identify as LGBT, the better it will be in encouraging people to be themselves.  As the member of the RICS Midlands’ committee responsible for diversity, Stewart brings with him a clear commitment to promoting inclusivity and we are looking forward to working with Stewart and the RICS to grow our membership in 2017.”

Fiona Grant FRICS, Chairperson for RICS UK & Ireland World Regional Board: “Networks, like Openland are often acting as catalyst for change and having this platform for LGBT professionals in the Midlands will I am sure have a great impact. In our industry where transparency is so important, it is necessary to create a culture where people feel like they can bring their whole self to work. RICS is supporting its LGBT members by encouraging firms to improve their Diversity and Inclusion practices through the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark.”