News: Latest UKAA/Swift Bunny Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Survey provides growing understanding of UK Build to Rent industry


Press Release - The latest Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey from the UKAA (the UK Apartment Association), the NAA (National Apartment Association) in the U.S., and Swift Bunny has revealed new insights into diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) matters across the Build to Rent industry in the UK.

  • UKAA/Swift Bunny survey highlights areas of good practice within the sector as well as opportunities for change
  • Supervisors doing well in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive working environments
  • Further work needed around internal candidate progression and career path development

An initial survey in spring 2022 provided a benchmarking snapshot. Now, the expanded follow-up survey, conducted in autumn 2022, has examined Build to Rent DEI issues nationally and in greater depth. The results were announced via a webinar on 26th January 2023, as part of UKAA's series of webinars designed to support the successful operation and growth of the UK Build to Rent industry.

The latest Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey examined 15 areas of DEI within the UK Build to Rent (BTR) industry. It identified some significant differences in perception between employees and executives, as well as some strong correlations.

"Taking a robust stance on diversity, equity and inclusion matters can ensure that Build to Rent providers are aligned with investment clients' priorities and can reduce staff turnover. A strong DEI program brings financial and operational benefits that extend both to the business and its customers. The findings of this latest survey will be crucial to understanding and enhancing DEI within the industry." 

Brendan Geraghty, CEO, UKAA 

One key finding from the latest survey is that 58% of employees, along with an equal proportion of executives, feel that BTR employees represent the population of the communities in which they work. However, just 38% of employees and 36% of executives feel that their company's leadership team represents those same communities. Employee suggestions around improving this situation contained a common theme of wanting to see a greater variety of demographics represented in company leadership as a result of internal talent development and promotion. This provides BTR businesses with an opportunity to review their practices in terms of developing internal candidates through mentorship, education and enhanced career path planning.

With 67% of employees and 63% of executives viewing this area of work as important, there is certainly plenty of will to support change and enhance representation. However, just 44% of executives agree that their companies are working to increase diverse representation at a non-management level, while only 40% believe that work is underway to increase it at management and executive levels. This indicates that work is needed to translate the desire for change into action. Encouragingly, 77% of employees and the same proportion of executives agree that their supervisors create inclusive working environments, signaling a strong foundation on which to base such change.

Perhaps the most pressing of the survey's findings is the difference in perception between employees' and executives' opinions on how committed their companies are to DEI. The average executive agreement exceeded the average employee agreement by .51 points, indicating a significant misalignment of perceptions. The average employee agreement had also dropped .48 points since the spring 2022 survey, indicating growing disagreement that companies are committed to DEI. This highlights the importance of leadership teams reinforcing their commitment to it and doing so through active and visible conversations and initiatives that deliver positive change.  

Another important gap in perception is that 61% of BTR employees agree that their company provides professional development opportunities for all employees, while 81% of executives agree. Perceptions also diverge on matters regarding equity in pay and the promotion of job opportunities to all employees. These gaps in agreement between employees and executives tie back into the need for BTR providers to deliver enhanced education, mentorship and career progression opportunities. By focusing on these areas and boosting relevant, focused professional development opportunities, companies will be paving the way to more representative leadership teams in the future.  

One other area of opportunity identified through the survey relates to internal communication processes. 12% of employees and 13% of executives indicated that employees feel afraid to report DEI concerns to their company, while a further 23% of employees and 22% of executives were hesitant about expressing a view on the matter. There is clearly some room for BTR businesses to communicate their processes and protections relating to employees expressing concerns over diversity, equity and inclusion matters.  

"Diversity, equity and inclusion remain priorities for UKAA in 2023, as they are so intrinsic to the growth and success of the UK Build to Rent industry. Only by embracing diversity across our teams and in our leadership roles can we enhance performance across the industry as a whole. 

"The results of the autumn 2022 UKAA/Swift Bunny Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Survey provide a growing understanding of DEI practices within the BTR industry, which will help to inform everything from recruitment to organisational policy in the future." 

Brendan Geraghty, CEO, UKAA 

For more information, please visit 

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About the UKAA

The UKAA ( is the membership organisation for the UK Build to Rent (BTR) Sector. The organisation's ambition is to grow the sector, and members' businesses, faster than would happen otherwise. 

This will be achieved by sharing information, promoting best practice amongst members, and raising standards to benefit customers. UKAA activities help reduce risks for investors, developers and operators and assist providers of services and products to enter and operate successfully in the BTR market.

Founded in 2016, the UKAA currently has c.310 members and is growing at c.30% per annum. Members comprise leading investors, operators, advisors and suppliers operating in the sector today. The UKAA also is a member of the global alliance of the NAA (National Apartment Association of USA), which represents over 82,000 members with more than 10 million rental housing units globally. 

Article Source: AB Property Marketing Ltd


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