Uplifting communities by inspiring inclusion helps forge positive change

What better location to elevate a focus on inclusion in the community than in shopping centers?

In the UK, Westfield London is reinforcing a message of women's equality in the lead up to International Women's Day (IWD).

Billboards share positive messaging encouraging its thriving community to Inspire Inclusion this International Women's Day and beyond.  

WESTFILED Ariel Way London

International Women's Day is a movement, participated in by groups everywhere.

Since 1911, IWD has provided an important focal point in the year for uniting in solidarity to raise the flag for women. 

For some, IWD is a day of celebration. For others, the day represents a key opportunity to rally for positive change.

Consistently, IWD is a moment to shine a spotlight on women's equality.  

Helping reinvent being together

Westfield London is owned by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) - the creator and operator of unique, sustainability-driven retail, office and lifestyle destinations that connect people through extraordinary, meaningful shared experiences.

URW is one of the most sustainable companies in the world.

An inclusive destination of choice

WESTFILED Ariel Way London

The company is inspired to boldly accelerate the regeneration of cities and the way we live in them, creating and operating unique sustainable places that Reinvent Being Together. The company owns, develops and operates sustainable, high-quality real estate assets in the most dynamic cities in Europe and the United States. The Group operates 72 shopping centres in 12 countries, including 38 which carry the iconic Westfield brand. These centers attract over 900 million visits annually and provide a unique platform for retailers and brands to connect with consumers. URW also has a further portfolio of venues and is a committed partner to major cities on urban regeneration projects, through both mixed-use development and the retrofitting of buildings to industry-leading sustainability standards.

URW's commitments are enhanced by the Group’s Better Places plan, which strives to make a positive environmental, social and economic impact on the cities and communities where URW operates. Its diverse team of 2,600 employees work together to create vibrant, people-centric places that are catalysts for the vitality of the communities it serves.

Forging a positive impact

URW continues to work to make a positive impact on its gender pay gap and driving impactful initiatives to support its employees. As a business, the challenges it faces have led to an even stronger focus on supporting working families, promoting well-being, and enhancing its diversity and inclusion program Be You at URW. Its strategy helps strengthen the focus on diversity and inclusion and in 2021 a major milestone was achieved in the signing of the Be You at URW Charter by all Management Board and Executive Committee members. This included a commitment for 40% or more of senior positions occupied by women by 2025 and Diversity & Inclusion objectives in the Short-Term Incentive and Long-Term Incentive plans for all Management Board and Executive Committee members.  The company has already achieved 63% of senior positions occupied by women in the UK which is above the industry average in the UK which is at 30% according to a report by Real Estate Balance.

The company is also a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) leader in its industry with our award-winning sustainability agenda. A pillar of its CSR strategy is people, empowering them to become sustainability and diversity changemakers. Part of this vision sees a continuous promotion of diversity and inclusion throughout the organization. Some of the company's key achievements include: 

  • Surpassing its goal of achieving 40% gender diversity in senior management roles, with the share of women in the UK leadership team increasing from 29% in 2019 to 63% and today this is more than double the industry average which is at 27% according to a report by industry body Real Estate Balance 
  • Reducing mean pay gap in 2022 by 5% (from 29.7% to 24.9%) compared to 2021 
  • Increasing percentage of women in the top pay quartile in 2022 (from 26% to 35%) 
  • Decreasing mean bonus gap by 9% (from 47.1% to 38.4%), a significant reduction since 2021 
  • Signing UN's Women’s Empowerment Principles and Business in the Community's Race at Work Charter  
  • Forging long-term partnerships with Real Estate Balance 
  • Receiving three Working Families awards: Top 30 Employer for Families; Best for Fathers and Mothers 
  • Participating in a Female Leadership Program dedicated to supporting five senior female leaders  
  • Encouraging use of Flexible/Hybrid working models to prevent loss of female talent in the company 
  • Hosting a panel discussion with LGBTQ+ partners, Freehold, to encourage Allyship and inclusion in the workplace
  • Policies around Menopause, enhanced Parental Bereavement leave and Pregnancy Loss Support for those who suffer a loss at any stage of pregnancy
  • Hiring a female Head of Development as Chair for the charity Mentoring Circle that focuses on addressing the gender diversity gap within real estate
  • Hosting two inspirational workshops for International Women’s Day: Over The Bloody Moon's Lesley Salem helping demystify menopause, breaking down stigma and encouraging open supportive conversation; Girls Talk Corporation's Vanessa Sanyauke helping build confidence in female leaders  

An employer of choice for all

In supporting parenthood, the company's aim is to be a women-friendly employer of choice, supporting employees in achieving the best possible balance between work/home life. As well as having an internal diversity and inclusion network and wellbeing framework, the company partners with Real Estate Balance, EW Group, Working Families, WISE and Stonewall to support a culture of wellbeing and inclusivity for all. Aside from enhanced Parental leave policies, the company's enhanced Adoption, Carers, Pregnancy Loss, Surrogacy, Menopause and SPL policies also support mothers working for the company. The company's internal WF Network, Engagement Surveys and external partnerships help focus business activity and measure progress.

The company encourages an open communication network, seeing its mothers socialize through the network and events. Employees going on leave have access to pre and post leave coaching with the Wellbeing Project, centered around the journey to becoming a parent and work-life balance, providing mothers with the tools and confidence they require. The company also provides a workplace Family buddy scheme that sees current parents and carers providing support to new or returning parents and carers, giving them a platform to discuss different stages of their experience, as well as creating an open culture of friendship and communication.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is committed to continuing its efforts towards gender equality through:

  • Committing to support five female leaders to participate in the Female Leadership Program every year
  • Continuing to enhance its Parental Leave policies and benefits to prevent females from dropping out of the workforce
  • Continuing to work towards narrowing the gender pay gap



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