Savills mocked on social media for ‘diversity’ claims

Following the abhorrent racist abuse of England players after the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy, including a tweet from an account that belongs to a Savills employee, the estate agency has been ridiculed on Twitter for stating that it is committed to encouraging diversity amongst its workforce.

Negative criticism comes from a number of social media users after an image emerged that appears to show an all-white board of directors.

The company has attracted negative press attention this week after one of its employees was suspended for allegedly posting a racist tweet about England’s Euro final defeat.

Following the incident, Savills issued a statement stating: “Savills is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce. A full investigation will be carried out in regards to this unacceptable incident.”

But a widely shared image on social media of the firm’s board of directors has attracted plenty of comments.

“Savills is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce. Rolling on the floor laughing Your management team are very diverse. Some of the men are bald. Some wear glass,” one commentator said.

Another said: “The thing about racism, @Savills is that a ‘bad apple’ may well not be your fault. But if you are really ‘encouraging diversity’ amongst [your] workforce’, shouldn’t that also apply to your UK Board? Something to think about. Thinking face

The messages continued:

+ “Very diverse board of directors I see.”

+ “Encouraging diversity amongst our workforce. THIS is your board of directors. Tell us what is diverse about it?

+ “What anti-DISCRIMINATION and DIVERSITY? Or were you HACKED too #Savills?”

+ “Diversity? have you SEEN your management team recently?

“Encouraging Diversity amongst our workforce”….meanwhile Down pointing backhand index KMT!!!”

There are plenty more online messages as criticism of Savills on social media grows following the controversy over a racist tweet sent from the personal account of one of its employees.

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  1. Countrybumpkin

    Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. At least there are 5 out of 44 on the board being women!

    1. Happy Daze!

      That’s not 44 board members!!!

    2. Cheese.

      “At least there are 5 out of 44 on the board being women!” – I cant tell if you’re being sarcastic… I hope you are.

  2. Bless You

    It shows companies can’t be expected to police their staff.

    Totally unfair on Savills.

    What happens if companies stop staff having a Facebook page ??

  3. JonnyBanana43

    What do they do, employ people of colour just to improve diversity?! That’s terrible! Just to silence the Twitter mob.

    1. Hillofwad71

      I agree no  you shoudn’t but It is surprising  though that  the make up  of Savills Directors who have  600 offices throughout the world  employing 35,000  people that it isn’t more diverse

      1. jan - byers

        Maybe they are just the best people for the job though

        1. Hillofwad71

          Indeed you can’t argue with that

          Looking at their geographical representation with numerous offices in  9  countries  in the Middle East, 10 in Africa .15 in Asia Pacific and 7 in the Americas and Caribbean just a little surprising that nobody amongst the 35,000 employees  has broken through the glass ceiling to Top Director level

  4. EAWolf

    I find the whole blame savills a bit silly. I’m a black EA and I’ve worked for savills in years gone by and personally I enjoyed my few years with the company. The fact that one person was racist and happened to be a savills employee is neither here or there. They still have to go down the correct route to fire him otherwise he could well come back at them. The fact that their board are mostly white men, that’s nothing new and I don’t think the company should be stoned all of a sudden just because one person was racist and everyone has suddenly just realised that their board was this way. I’ve known this for a long time, did it bother me and my fellow bame colleagues working for them? No not really because on a branch to branch level there is plenty diversity amongst staff. Now whether we get elevated to higher positions is another question, but regardless I think the blame savills narrative is just stupid. People are just jumping on the twitter band wagon. To savills, as long as they recognise the lack of diversity and make adjustments in the coming years that’s okay for me, no need to sack your whole board and hire all bame board directors anytime soon

    1. AlwaysAnAgent

      “ Now whether we get elevated to higher positions is another question” 

      Are you not concerned by anything in this statement?

  5. flockfollower102

    Do we know how many BAME people Savills or any of the national corporates and national franchises’ employ? If you are a national employer and you are serious about equal opportunities then you should have policies that as bare minimum ensure that minorities make it onto the interview selection ( Like the Rooney rule in the NFL). Then the proportions of different minorities employed can be monitored and acted upon. For most national corporations the picture of the board will probably not look dissimilar to Savills, perhaps it is time we start asking ourselves why?

    1. JonnyBanana43

      This is not America…

      Let’s be honest – a lot of the social media in the UK at the moment is fuelled by deep rooted problems in America – having grown up in inner city Birmingham I honestly don’t think you can compare the two

      1. flockfollower102

        You are correct this is not America, but this was the English players being sent racist posts, suggesting that racism is still endemic in this country and ‘nice’ ideas like ‘Kick it out’ are having zero effect. It is time for a more robust policy against racism to ensure we never have the same problems that the USA are dealing with.

  6. jeremy1960

    Imho the best person for the job can be any sex, colour or creed. Why the push for diversity? If we start to employ to satisfy quotas and business suffers who gets the blame? Police forces across the country having employed on this basis along with education qualifications are now seeing the effect and nobody knows how to deal with it.

    1. flockfollower102

      Unfortunately if you have a name that is obviously BAME you often do not even make it to interview. Difficult to be considered for a job you do not even get a chance to interview for?

      1. Eyereaderturnedposter12


        How have you made this association?

        Unless you’ve been instructed to not interview BAME candidates (which would be remarkable), how could you know this as being the primary factor in not being invited for an interview?

        It’s quite a statement to make, and I wonder if you’re able to corroborate this.

        1. jan - byers

          Yiou do not understand at all
          If any person who is not white does not get a job it is because of rascism- never ever because someone else is a better candidate 

          1. petsinestateagency

            I think it’s a pretty well-established facet of human nature that you gravitate towards people who are like you – and that can include “who look like you”. This must feed into recruitment, and so the tendency would be to recruit and promote people who are like yourself.

            One look at the photos of the Savills board would lead you to the conclusion that this is true.

            The trouble is, it’s just not right. Companies need to be challenged. The world and the country is changing, and companies who don’t realise this and react will be in danger over time of withering and possibly dying.

        2. flockfollower102

          Go to google and search BAME job applicants not being interviewed. Plenty of information available from many sources.

  7. Mrlondon52

    A big topic that is a long time coming. Positive discrimination offends many but ultimately society needs re-balancing. The agency industry is very very white. Is that anyone’s fault? No. Do I think that big agencies are racist? Absolutely not. Is there something structural about why BAME young people do not want to let or sell or manage houses? Probably, though I don’t understand all the causal factors and how they play together. A lot of people are influenced by what their parents do, hence the challenge here.

    Can agencies be more proactive in BAME hiring and recruiting? Yes. Will this take money and effort? Yes.

    Whatever you think, Savills looks stupid here. Too many big corporates bang on about diversity as they think their Annual Reports need those buzzwords but they can’t back it up.

  8. jan - byers

    I am just so bored with this

    An time any person does not get what they want it is because of racism

    The woke world is insane

    1. flockfollower102

      Insane, or just disagreeing with age old stereotypes and ways of doing things. If you want to survive it pays to adapt.

  9. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    My two pennies worth…

    The UK seems (or seeks) to be a country obsessed with self-flagellation when it comes to the “racism” issue.

    Everyone is so desperately obsessed with appearing “woke”, “diverse”, “inclusive” and any other buzzword you wish to chose in relation to this issue. It seems that appearance is more important than genuinely being decent human beings.

    I suspect, this issue is one driven by parties with a divisive agenda, as it shouldn’t go unnoticed that drawing attention to any particular colour or creed…is in and of itself, divisive.

    Full disclosure: I have lived in several countries as an ex-pat for over a decade, and I can tell you from first hand experience, the UK is one of the LEAST racist nations/people I’ve come across.


    1. flockfollower102

      It may be, but are you suggesting that the comments posted to those England players is acceptable as it is just a minority? I do not think I or anyone on here is suggesting that there are other countries that have greater issues than the UK, but are you therefore saying that we should not be better?

      1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

        flockfollower, ”are you suggesting that the comments posted to those England players is acceptable as it is just a minority?”…how on earth have you moved towards that question based on what I have written?
        ”are you therefore saying we should not be better?”…Clearly not, as my post states.
        Is it possible that you’re seeking to be inflammatory (where it isn’t required/appropriate) and/or attempting to make associations that exist in your psyche, rather than associations that exist in reality? For what purpose, i don’t know.
        You seem to take quite a defensive and accusatory stance, but have you ever thought it isn’t a race issue? Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion…it’s an issue with arseh*les?
        Instead of attempting to insinuate that people you know nothing about, may be ”racist” or similar, why not channel that energy into something useful/helpful?

        1. flockfollower102

          I do not believe there is anything defensive in any one of my posts. They are all questions. If you have taken them as being accusatory, then I apologise, but I genuinely feel that we as a country can do far more than we are doing to create a non racist country and being considered better than many countries is not, in my opinion a good enough yardstick. Asking questions is a way of getting people to think about their own views without calling them out for anything. The work that has been done so far has improved matters, but if you, (as I do from time to time) go to football matches, you will hear the racists comments made on a regular basis. On social media, it is endemic. This can not been seen as a good thing and I worry about the way football players taking a knee and other ‘inclusive’ policies have not been supported by our politicians en masse.

  10. AlwaysAnAgent

    No offence jan-buyers and and Jeremy1960 but it is highly likely you are both white, pale, male, stale, slightly balding, grey or white hair and around the age of 60.

    Understanding diversity is beyond you. My grandad was the same.

    1. Russell121

      I’m surprised you didn’t throw in the term ‘Gammon’ which is always good for a bit of deogratory stereotyping.   

  11. Russell121

    Having watched that very popular ‘Homes under The Hammer’ for many years, when they are in the big cities of London & Birmingham etc as you’d expect, I see plenty of black and asian estate agents, although I haven’t bothered to find out if they own or manage the agents shown. Savills is just an example of a corporate business who will naturally have to change as it’s consumer changes. I guess they have played up the part of that stereotype englishness that foreign investors seem to want or they think they want. On another note at least Gareth Southgate has dodged a bullet with all the off field commotion. 

  12. AcornsRNuts

    AT the risk of being inundated with accusations of racism, there is one aspect to these comments that has not been mentioned. Those who missed the penalties were black. Had they been white with ginger hair, the tweets etc would have referred to gingers. Had they been white and bald, the comments would have referred to slapheads.

    Bullies have always selected something about people that differs from the norm and used that as a target. As a child I was bullied because of my weight. I have employed black people, worked with BAME people and, many years ago I had a black supervisor in charge of me. I have found that regardless of skin colour people are the same. Some pull their weight, some don’t. We are all just trying to make our way in the world.

    1. IanOliver

      You are right.

      And to take the analogy further, what if those ginger or white bald players had been chosen, despite lack of experience, because the manager especially wanted a ginger, or bald white man, to get the glory of the winning shot?

      1. PMT

        …if that’s why Southgate chose the penalty takers, that is also racism, and this point (true or otherwise) brings home the reason why racism is bad – period! The one who is unfairly denied is hurt, as is the one who is unfairly ‘promoted’, as also is the organisation they both belong to; as in the organisation’s case, it is not getting the best out of its resources.  Saka was far too young to have been put in that position in any event

  13. conoco9

    Another case of virtue signalling. Waiting for another major high street to Con us all next.

  14. PMT

    I never blamed Savills for its employee’s tweet, but it’s been knocked off the pedestal for me as a result of its board make up.  It is an amazing company that I have used for a few years now in Central London (lettings and sales), and I am not sure how I now feel about them now.  To have a Board like that is evidence that they do NOT CARE to have a diverse board – they are lots of very qualified BAME people out there.  Lots.

  15. claris

    It takes time to make the changes required as the right people black/white/green/blue need to come through the ranks to take the more senior positions. I agree that diversity is necessary but how many of the board are female, or Jewish, or Buddist etc. Are the women shown in the photo, board members because of talent or for show!! You want to break the glass ceiling you have to do it with talent and drive not by over compensating, which is what this snivelling, woke society wants you to do. Stand up be counted and take your place at the table whoever you are – but for the right reasons with the right qualifications and track record behind you.


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