Freehold appoints new board members to champion LGBTQ+ professionals in real estate

Networking forum expands leadership to promote DE&I in the property industry

Freehold, the premier networking forum for LGBTQ+ real-estate professionals, has appointed four new board members, signalling their commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the property sector.

Warren Stapley and Anyi Hobson will join as Board Directors, while Sarah Chapman and Eric Chou will serve as Next Gen board members. This strategic expansion aims to empower and support the next generation of LGBTQ+ professionals as they embark on their careers in real estate.

Emerging talent

With a specific focus on nurturing emerging talent, Freehold has created the Next Gen board positions to establish a safe space and community for newcomers in the industry to seek guidance and mentorship.

Sarah Chapman, one of the new Next Gen board members, said: “I am passionate about supporting LGBTQ+ people and allies in the workplace and will endeavour to work to help create a safe and open environment. I am very proud to be representing Next Gen on the Freehold Board alongside Eric Chou. I hope to pave the way for future generations in the real estate industry, ensuring that underrepresented groups in the community are fully included and supported.”

Advocating for the LGBTQ+ community

The newly appointed Directors bring diverse perspectives and experiences to Freehold’s work, aligning with the organisation’s objective of expanding its network and fostering inclusivity. Freehold continues to drive positive change within the real estate community, providing a secure environment for LGBTQ+ professionals from all backgrounds.

Warren Stapley, a Board Director at Freehold, emphasised the importance of advocating for the LGBTQ+ community when anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment is rising. He said: “It’s an honour to be joining the Freehold board as a Director and to play my part in progressing LGBTQ+ inclusion throughout the real estate sector. With anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment rising in many areas of our politics and society, it is more important than ever to advocate for our richly diverse community.

“I’m looking forward to using my skills and lived experience alongside a talented and diverse group representing both the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Together, Freehold will go forward with pride.”

Enhancing D&I across real estate

Kelly Canterford, Co-Chair of Freehold, expressed delight in welcoming the four exceptional new board members, acknowledging their skills and experiences that will contribute to achieving short and long-term goals while supporting members throughout their careers. Canterford believes that the fresh energy and ideas brought by Anyi, Eric, Sarah, and Warren will position Freehold strongly to enhance diversity across the real estate industry in 2023 and beyond.

Looking ahead, Freehold aims to strengthen its organisation and support for the LGBTQ+ real estate community. Adding these new board members ensures that Freehold will continue to deliver remarkable events and networking opportunities to its members.

Meet the new Freehold board members:

Warren Stapley: DE&I Responsible Business Manager at Montagu Evans, Warren brings valuable insight from the disabled and bisexual communities, often overlooked within the LGBT community.

Anyi Hobson: Director at SEAM Advisory, Anyi’s consultancy experience at the intersection of DEI and ESG will contribute to Freehold’s mission.

Sarah Chapman: Associate Director at Savills and one of the most senior LGBT women in the business, Sarah’s leadership and commitment to diversity have earned her numerous accolades.

Eric Chou: Senior Consultant at CBRE, Eric’s marketing background and governance experience will enrich Freehold’s board.

Freehold received pro bono search assistance from executive search firm Granger Reis, whose associate Jodi Beauchamp said: “The influence Freehold has within real estate cannot be underestimated, and we were honoured to support the board in its mission to increase diversity of thought and experience in the trustee team.

“It was especially rewarding to find four individuals of such quality and range of backgrounds that perfectly complement the existing board. We wish them and the organisation all the very best in this exciting next stage of development and impact for our community and beyond.”

As Freehold continues championing diversity and inclusion, its new board members will play a pivotal role in driving positive change within the real estate industry, ensuring a brighter future for LGBTQ+ professionals.

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