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Edinburgh planner chosen for inaugural REAL programme

20 03 20 Real prog

All-female cohort of 13 future leaders enrolled on Real Estate And Leadership (REAL) programme.

A senior planner from the Edinburgh office of global real estate services provider Colliers International has been selected for a new programme designed for future leaders.

Holly Gillingham is one of 13 senior surveyors and associate directors from around the UK who will be taking part in the year-long Real Estate And Leadership (REAL) scheme, aimed at developing leadership skills specifically for clients, projects and people.
REAL is part of Colliers International’s Balance in Business programme, which seeks to address diversity and inclusion within the organisation. The programme has been designed by the UK Talent & Development team based on research which identifies how successful women have achieved promotion and business recognition. It will also enable the group to build their network within the business and the wider real estate sector.
Holly said: “This is a ground-breaking initiative and I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to be part of this. I look forward to growing my own skills and perspectives with the support of REAL. I am also looking forward to being part of a network within Colliers that spans the UK and the business opportunities presented as a result of this.”
Lydia Ings, UK HR Director at Colliers International, explained that the REAL scheme would provide support in developing leadership skills.
“We’ve launched with an all-female cohort, tailoring the programme, as we know that the experience of women achieving senior positions is different to that of their male counterparts and we want to support our participants in harnessing their strengths,” she said.
Kate Morgan, UK Chief Operating Officer at Colliers International, added: “We know that gender-specific initiatives can be an emotive subject, but in order to bring balance to our business and boardrooms in the sector it’s important, for us and the industry, to directly tackle the blockers that women face within themselves, in their careers and within in the workplace.”

The scheme also incorporates participation in national awareness days, and it was launched in conjunction with the company’s International Women’s Day panel discussion at its head office in London. An all-female line up of client representatives discussed challenges for women in the real estate sector and how the industry is working to become more equal and inclusive. More than 150 people listened to the discussion, which was hosted by Colliers’ UK COO Kate Morgan and EMEA Head of Project Management, Sam Addison. 

Related Experts

Holly Gillingham

Associate Director



With 9 years’ experience in planning, development and regeneration across the UK and the USA, Holly brings a wide range of planning knowledge and experience to the team. Holly works across the UK and is currently involved in a number of major and local development proposals. She is an active member of the Scottish Young Planners’ Network and RTPI East Scotland chapter.

Key Skills

  • Planning and Development Consultancy;
  • Planning Applications;
  • Master Planning;
  • Local Development Plans; 
  • Business Land Reviews;
  • Local Place Plans;
  • Community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Education, hotel and leisure experience; and
  • Planning project management and assembly of multidisciplinary project teams.
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Lydia Ings

HR Director

Human Resources

London - West End

I join Colliers with over 18 years experience in Human Resources, most recently holding the senior position of Head of Talent Acquisition and Development.

As a highly respected HR professional with extensive knowledge of the real estate market, I have worked across the full spectrum of HR; including talent acquisition, graduate development, training & career development, operations, and business partnering.

I lead Colliers’ UK HR team, using extensive experience in real estate to understand the challenges we face across all business lines, adding real value to the UK business.


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