Intelligent CXO Issue 23 | Page 43

FEATURE after that we were inundated with offers to host from other firms of surveyors ! Another was the first Freehold event hosted by RICS . Louise Brooke-Smith , the first female RICS President stood up and said , ‘ You are all very welcome ’; five very simple words but with huge meaning for us . In the same vein , the first time we saw the rainbow flag flown from the RICS and RIBA HQs . Again , a gesture that may seem small but one we never thought we would witness in our lifetime and by 2021 , we were holding our 10-year anniversary celebration ; who would have thought ?
These events and achievements are only the tip of the iceberg of the change we have seen , thanks to our industry and our incredible members and supporters , past and present . In our ever-divided world , small and consistent changes are those that have managed to take us from a country where it was once illegal to be gay , to one where whoever you love , you can do so with pride . This really hit home during our recent nomination to King Charles III ’ s Honours List . Our inclusion on the list is a validation of all the hard work done by the Freehold board , our members , corporate sponsors and supporters , professional institutions and the property press . A lot of people have put in a lot of long hours to ensure that LGBTQ + professionals feel more welcome and represented in the property sector and we are touched to have been given the recognition on behalf of them all .
Holding on to gains while still fighting
Of course , there is still a long way to go in the fight for equality , inclusivity and diversity across all sectors and wider society . But what is clear is that , even in the face of adversity , community builds us all up to be stronger and able to take on any challenge we face . At Freehold and across other LGBTQ + organisations , we have created change and seen shifts we never thought possible , all while facing backlash and commentary from those against our cause .
We still see it today ; a petition urging the UK to remove LGBTQ + content from schools alarmingly has nearly 200,000 signatures . Thankfully that has now been rejected by the government , which I think we can all agree , is a relief to discover . However , the UK government ’ s blocking of Scotland ’ s Gender Recognition Reform bill reflects further the fragility of widespread LGBTQ + acceptance .
have never let such negativity from the minority stop us in the past , so why would we start now ? This is something we feel strongly about at Freehold . Our ever-growing community allows us to stand together as one and push forward towards greatness . And to the real estate industry , we are grateful to have been given the space to do so .
Going forward , we hope that with the growing importance placed on ESG , businesses within our sector and beyond will continue to join us in active and consistent work to meet ESG objectives , of which inclusivity , diversity and equality are fundamental pillars .
Remembering the past to ensure a positive future
Our departing words are this . Remembering our history and the sacrifice of so many people who fought for us , often with their freedom or even their life is vital . Without these incredible figures , we would not enjoy the freedoms we have today . Storytelling remains such a powerful learning tool and events like LGBTQ + History Month allow us to bring our stories to the fore and remind future generations never to take for granted the liberties that we have secured and need to defend . At Freehold we hope to represent the light and goodness that can be created when like-minded individuals come together with a common goal . We should do what we do best ; support our communities to continue the good fight .
Saleem Fazal MBE , Real Estate Partner at Taylor Wessing ( L ), and David Mann MBE , Partner at Tuffin Ferraby Taylor
However , while these are concerning to all within the LGBTQ + community and our supporters , we
It ’ s a tough fight , but I think you ’ ll agree that it ' s one worth having . x www . intelligentcxo . com