In conversation with... Giulia Bunting, GL Hearn planning director.

In February 2018, Giulia Bunting was named by Bisnow as one of the most influential women in UK real estate.

GL Hearn, part of Capita, is one of the UK’s leading real estate consultancies.

What drew you to the real estate industry?

I’ve worked in the real estate industry for over 35 years. I originally started off as a planner in local government with most of my career in private practice. I have always been interested in the built environment and how we interact with it.

You were listed in the Bisnow Top 51 most influential, dynamic, exciting and successful women in the UK, commercial Real Estate sector, what does that mean to you?

It’s a great honour. It recognises the contribution I have made to the industry both in delivering on the ground transformational developments and in driving key campaigns through my various roles with influential change making organisations. I’m energised by the industry I work in, but I’ve always valued the opportunity to combine working and bringing up my family.

These remain exciting and challenging times for real estate industry and I’m looking forward to the next part of my career.

What’s your advice or message for women on International Women’s day?

Ensure that you choose to work in an area/industry that fully interests and motivates you. Recognise your strengths, be positive and make sure your voice is heard and valued. Your career is a journey, embrace different ways of working and reach out to all cultures and communities.

Can you tell us more about your role as President of Revo and your campaign to advocate greater inclusivity and diversity within the retail and place making industry?

It’s been an honour to be Revo president and these are really exciting and challenging times for retail property and place making industry – and Revo is an organisation at the heart of it.  

Women remain a minority across the retail property industry, which is astonishing when you consider it is women that account for the majority of retail spend.

We are playing a lead role in the debate about treatment of women in the work place, from pay to behaviour. We’ve developed partnerships with key industry bodies also seeking to enhance diversity including BPF, Freehold, Real Estate Balance, charities and disability groups.

We’re seeking to maximise access from a more diverse mix of entrants into the industry and create retail places that are inclusive and accessible to all.

From those discussions, we’ve revisited our own internal governance to make sure our boards, committees, working groups, juries and all outputs better reflect the diversity of our industry’s customer base.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a good time to celebrate women. This year marks a hundred years since the suffragettes fought for women to get the vote. There’s no better time to push the debate.

At the moment we’re lucky, diversity and inclusivity are points to discuss on the agenda, but it should now sit behind the whole agenda. It needs to be at the heart of all discussions. 

Some progress is being made but we are only at the beginning of the journey. We have seen some high-profile activity from key names in the industry. However, there is a very long way to go.

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