Bristol property professional to head up national organisation

A leading light of the Bristol property scene has been appointed chair of a national organisation.

Real Estate Balance, a membership organisation working to improve diversity and inclusion in the real estate industry, has appointed Jo Davis, managing director of place at Avison Young as its new chair.

Jo has a property career spanning 30 years and will take over from Liz Peace, one of the seven founding members of Real Estate Balance, when she steps down in May.

With a background in town planning, Jo has worked on a number of complex developments, regeneration strategies and new communities, each involving skilled and sensitive negotiation and communication with a wide variety of stakeholders.

At Avison Young, Jo also has responsibility for the UK Women’s Network, Gender Pay Gap and sits on the global board with responsibility for diversity, equality, inclusion and mentoring.

This appointment comes at a time of transition and growth for Real Estate Balance, which now has more than 125 members.

Originally founded in 2015 to address gender imbalance at senior levels in the industry, Real Estate Balance broadened its scope in 2020 to embrace broader diversity and inclusion objectives such as ethnicity and social mobility. It has also expanded its reach and network outside London, hosting membership events in cities around the UK.

Through a range of campaigns, events and activities, and with a focus on leadership, best practice, opportunity and collaboration, Real Estate Balance supports its members to make progress in achieving a diverse and inclusive culture and so contribute to the enhanced performance of the sector as a whole.

Bristol based Jo will lead the seven-strong board of Real Estate Balance.

Jo said:  “Liz has done amazing work as chair of Real Estate Balance; it’s a premiership organisation, and it’s a huge privilege to take over from her as chair. My job now is one of guardianship and growth, building on everything that has already been achieved.

“I started my real estate career in a team with a leadership structure that set me up for success.

“I was really lucky, and I want that to become the norm. I look forward to working alongside Real Estate Balance’s team to expand its reach and ensuring we remain relevant and agile to  people at all stages of their career.”

Real Estate Balance’s managing director, Sue Brown, commented: “Jo brings with her exceptional experience and has a genuine understanding, dedication and passion for the work we do at Real Estate Balance.

“I’m looking forward to working with her as we transition to the next phase for the organisation.”