devtalks… with Alexander Hall’s Dominic Scott
Dominic Scott, Managing Director at Alexander Hall, joined deverellsmith to share his knowledge and insight on diversity and inclusion across the property industry and how we can tackle systemic racism. The bar stool ran as part of deverellsmith’s ‘breakfast with devtalks…’ series hosted at the company’s London offices by CEO Andrew Deverell-Smith.
Scott’s professional journey began working in inner city ‘special educational needs’ schools for two and a half years, which initially started as a part of his university course. Following this he then joined Foxtons in 2004 and having moved through the ranks, is now the Managing Director of one of the businesses within the group.
As a Managing Director who started at the bottom it’s a “testament to our inclusive company culture which creates great opportunities and supports people to realise their potential”.
When asked about the effect of the anti-racist movement in the UK Scott responded, “we in Britain have a collective amnesia where the ‘Great’ in ‘Great Britain’ comes from. Most people don’t know the history of it, we are living the effects of that history. Let’s understand it first and put all the great things alongside the not so great things. The Black Lives Matter movement has exposed the results of systemic racism within our society. As an example, why do we learn about Henry VIII in schools, but avoid history like ‘Operation Legacy’, which still pervasively affects our society”
When asked if racism exists in the property industry, Scott explained that “racism is a systemic power structure used to devalue the life, the liberty and economic potential of people based on the colour of their skin. Racism is in society and the property industry is part of that society, so it’s going to be in there, in some shape or form.”
When asked about how the industry can better address the under representation of certain groups, Scott suggested that, diversifying recruitment sources and working harder to make role models more visible to the next generation is a good place to start.
Subjects were opened to the floor where Lucas Grant, New Homes Consultant, questioned the appropriate use of language surrounding race. Scott advised, “We need to think about people’s intent on the language they use and separate those with good intent from those who make a simple mistake. The real focus should really be around whether people are proactively working to be anti-racist or not. Being anti-racist is about making a conscious effort to tackle racism, as opposed to passively accepting a system that produces racist outcomes.”
Focusing on ‘the ability to affect change”, Scott gave an overview of Alexander Hall’s initiatives including ‘Inspire50’ implemented to tackle the gender imbalance in the mortgage sector and to promote an environment that welcomes women in what is normally male dominant. He also discussed the ‘Foxtons LGBTQ+ network’ and ‘Afro Foxtons’ a network set up to create more black leaders within the property sector.
He concluded by saying. “We live in a wonderful multicultural society supported by the contributions of an eclectic mix of people. We all have a responsibility to tackle structural inequality and create companies which reflect this, if not just for ourselves, then for future generations”.
Austin Mooney, Senior Manager in the Development department at deverellsmith, commented “We were lucky enough to have Dom Scott; Managing Director of Alexander Hall, visit the deverellsmith on Wednesday morning to talk to us on the importance of diversity and inclusion within the property sector. I was blown away by Dom’s knowledge and passion and left feeling genuinely inspired. I’ve always considered myself a strong advocate of diversity and inclusion and yet after listening to Dom I had to question whether I was doing enough to challenge the status quo. As a Senior Manager within recruitment I think it’s important we are constantly asking questions of ourselves and our recruitment processes to make sure that we are helping our clients achieve a diverse workforce.“
To speak with Dom Scott directly or request him as a speaker contact 07875802147.
To find out more on deverellsmith’s ‘breakfast with devtalks…’ series, contact Laura Croggon, Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.