Posted: 27 Jan. 2021 5 min. read

Inclusion holds the key to our success

At Deloitte, we understand that an inclusive work environment holds the key to our success. To achieve this, we need to ensure every one of our colleagues feels true to themselves and are heard and respected. We are all responsible for creating the culture that we want. 

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic, the killing of George Floyd in the US and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement, have all cast a spotlight on how we need to improve on our understanding of diversity and inclusion matters not just in the workplace, but also as individuals. Read our 2020 Annual Report to see how we are promoting our Inclusion agenda, which features the establishment of 11 diversity networks, increased paternity leave allowance and the launch of the Black Action Plan, to name but a few.

At Deloitte Real Estate, we are committed to further educating ourselves on the experience and representation of our BAME colleagues and to raising awareness of diversity and inclusion in all aspects.

This blog post contains some of the initiatives we’ve taken in the past year to ensuring we are working towards a truly inclusive environment.

Real Estate Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group

There is no doubt that 2020 accelerated conversations on diversity and inclusion however, a key question arising for us was, how can we keep the conversation going? One of the first actions we took in Real Estate was to set up a discussion group to discuss diversity and inclusion issues we saw in our workplace. The first meeting became a catalyst for change and the group is now organised into workstreams to influence change in all aspects, ranging from reviewing our recruitment and attraction protocols, researching what our governing institutions are doing in the diversity space, to how our people are leading and importantly, challenging bias.

This group involves a broad range of colleagues from across our real estate business covering consulting services, valuations, capital projects and planning and development. We continue to meet on a regular basis and hope to share our findings and actions in a future blogpost.

P&D Diversity Forum – Liz Neate, Rebecca Dolphin & Jennifer Chatfield

The Planning & Development team’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum was originally set-up in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the recognition that there is a need for change and to act as a voice for such change, highlighting matters to proactively address. The intention is to encourage active conversations around the topic of diversity, to identify appropriate actions within Planning & Development, to complement what is done firm-wide in respect of diversity, and to raise visibility around the importance of diversity.

The ambition of the Forum centres around five key topics: Connection, Reflection, Information, Education and Celebration.

Diversity Calendar - Cameron Banks Murray & Nathan Hiles

One of our first actions as a Forum was to develop a Diversity Calendar which records key cultural, religious and awareness events that take place throughout the year. We use the Diversity Calendar to disseminate information about the events to our team through email updates providing information about the event and links to further reading. Examples of recent events we have flagged to the team include Transgender Awareness Week, Hanukkah, Diwali and World AIDS Day. We have found that the Diversity Calendar has helped to bring diverse interests much higher up our daily agenda and is now part of our ‘standard’ conversations within the team.

Around the World Challenge – Ross Raftery

October 2020 was a significant month in our Diversity Calendar, as we recognised the importance of Black History Month. Our team took on the challenge of circumnavigating the globe and, using sporting activities, travel the equivalent distance of 24,901 miles.

Throughout the month we shared opportunities to learn through Black History Month, and fundraised for the Blue Print for All charity (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust). We were inspired by Stephen’s ambition to become an architect, and the work that the charity undertakes to help young people transform their lives to overcome disadvantage and discrimination.

More than 80 members of our team took part in the challenge, covering the equivalent of more than 26,000 miles during the month, and raising an impressive £6,900 (inc. Gift Aid) for the charity! You can find out more about our challenge through Ed Britton’s blog.

FA Inclusion Think Tank - Patrish Zituboh-Zeabie

The Financial Advisory (FA) Think Tank is part of the FA Inclusion Agenda. We formulate new ideas, share resources and contribute to the improvements FA can make when it comes to Inclusion in all areas including Disability, Ethnicity, Faith, Generational Insight, LGBTQ+, Neurodiversity, Women in Leadership, Women in Finance and Working Families.

I believe Inclusion to be an important issue and subject matter both inside and outside of the firm. I joined the Disability Think Tank as I am passionate about driving change and helping to inform our broader perspective and strategy.  I have an invisible illness and I believe that my insights provide a different perspective.

I hope to see real change as a result of the Think Tank including awareness for everyone with appropriate training, learning and understanding of the diversity in disabled community. I hope for all individuals to feel as though they have the right support within the workplace, knowing how to navigate resources and support for their unique experiences and requirements, ensuring that our colleagues can deliver their best work and progress in their careers.

Deloitte GLOBE Jennifer Chatfield

GLOBE is Deloitte’s network for LGBTQ+ people across the firm, which aims to create and support an inclusive environment where people can be themselves at work; without the fear that sexuality or gender would impact negatively on their career. 

As a lesbian woman, I recognise the difficulty that hiding sexuality can have on day-to-day interactions and on mental health. After all, you never just ‘come-out’ once! It’s something that happens either intentionally or unintentionally when making new connections and relationships at work and in people’s personal lives. Over the years I have grown to be proud of who I am and having the support of colleagues was critical to getting to where I am today.

Joining the Globe network was a no brainer to me when I started at Deloitte as I wanted to feel like I was part of the community at work, whilst supporting the promotion of inclusion and pride at Deloitte and further afield.

Being a visual ally, whether you are part of the LGBTQ+ community or not, is hugely effective to show your support for LGBTQ+ people and sets an environment where people will feel open to being themselves knowing that they are accepted by their colleagues. So please show your support through being a visible ally!

Women in Planning/Transport Alix de Nercy

After attending a few events organised by Women in Planning, I became a Committee Member of the London Branch in July 2018. Women in Planning is a national not-for-profit network with “the aim to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive planning industry”. We partner with various companies, including Deloitte, to organise learning and networking events where members can share views and experiences on a wide range of planning, professional wellbeing and development topics. I have been lucky enough in my career to be surrounded by supportive and inspiring men and women. Women in Planning is a fantastic platform and community that offers further support and learning opportunities which I am proud of contributing to with Deloitte.

Whilst not being specialised in Transport matters, I have also partnered with colleagues in Tax and Consulting at Deloitte to create an internal Women in Transport Network in June 2019. The purpose of the Network is to create a positive environment in which our colleagues working in this industry can continue to thrive and showcase their impressive work. Since its creation, we have received positive feedback across all grades and enthusiastic responses from our clients.

Both these initiatives align with Deloitte’s ethos and culture which seek to enable strong female voices and visibility for our respective areas of expertise. I am proud to be a part of these groups that have continued to grow during the pandemic. This further emphasised the importance of creating and nurturing supportive communities.

Wellbeing – Frances Hampson, Ellen Sanderson-Clark, Christie Williams & Dena Dabbas

The P&D at Home Team was launched during the national lockdown as a way to support each other through a challenging period. More specifically, whilst people may be feeling isolated, struggling for motivation or just bored of being stuck at home we wanted to bring some fun to the work day and help to maintain that sense of community whilst being physically apart. Key to this has been our weekly P&D newsletter which sets picture challenges for the team which aim to bring some joy – old school photos, baby photos etc. whilst also providing people with the opportunity to send in pictures of what they have been up to and sharing ‘life updates’. It has had great feedback and we will continue it even once a new ‘normal’ is established!

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Key contacts

Mathew Evans-Pollard

Mathew Evans-Pollard

Partner, Head of Development & Assurance

Mathew leads the Development & Assurance group in Real Assets Advisory. He specialises in urban regeneration, portfolio and estate strategy and development both in London and in the wider UK. Mathew’s clients include government departments / authorities, universities as well as banks, development and investors. Mathew is currently working with several public sector authorities on estate optimisation and portfolio strategy to enhance capital receipts and revenue streams and accelerate housing delivery. For example, he advised Transport for London on its Property Partnerships strategy from inception to implementation and continues to support the organisation to select development partners across its London estate.

James Graven

James Graven


James leads on real estate development, urban regeneration and programme advisory services for developers, public authorities, landowners and contractors. He is a partner within the Development & Assurance group in Real Assets Advisory. His team provides programme management and assurance services for major development projects. Within the public sector, James leads the preparation of HM Treasury compliant business cases for high profile real estate projects involving new capital spend, development or land acquisition. James’ clients include real estate developers, central government, regional and local government, higher education, transport, consumer products and financial services. James advises clients over the full lifecycle of real estate development from strategy and inception through to delivery and operations. This includes business case preparation and economic appraisals, governance, programme office, organisation establishment, procurement, cost management, risk management, capital project delivery and assurance reviews.

Simon Burnett

Simon Burnett


Simon is a Partner in the UK firm’s Development & Assurance group in Real Assets Advisory. He has over 18 years’ experience in providing development focused agency, funding and strategic consultancy advice. Simon specialises in advising clients on major real estate development projects and programmes, including many of the largest regeneration schemes across the UK. Simon has expertise in the creation of joint ventures for major development projects and national portfolios. This includes advising Transport for London on their Property Partnerships JV programme, National Grid on their JV with the Berkeley Group to form St William, and their national JV with a Housing Association. Simon is also currently advising Diageo Ireland on the selection of a development partner for the historic St James’ Gate Guinness Brewery in Dublin. Within the Transport sector Simon has extensive experience advising on the funding and financing of new transport infrastructure through mechanisms which capture the increase in property/land value created by the initial investment, examples including Crossrail 2, Bakerloo Line extension and Brighton Mainline upgrade.