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News & opinion

20 MAI 2019

RICS chief hailed as a leading advocate of women in the workplace

RICS Chief Executive Sean Tompkins has been recognised in this year's 'Agents of Change' list of male UK business leaders who have excelled in promoting the role of women in the workplace.

Handpicked by diversity trailblazers from across British culture, business and social advocacy organisations, Sean has been recognised for his leadership in both championing women at RICS and advocacy for greater female representation in the Chartered Surveying Profession around the world.

It's a real honour to be included in the Agents of Change list, alongside so many other great champions.

We all have a role in driving the change we want to see. Yet as industry leaders, the buck stops with us to champion the full range of our society's orientations, genders, races and creeds. It falls to us to ensure they are included at every level of our organisations.

Sean Tompkins
RICS Chief Executive

"In the built environment, achieving diversity is no longer just a moral or even a legal obligation. Fundamentally, it's about the future of our places – where people live, work and play."

Previous winners include EE's CEO, Marc Allera, Sage's CEO Stephen Kelly and Sir Roger Carr, the Chairman of BAE systems.

Since his appointment as RICS CEO in 2010, Sean has made it a personal and corporate RICS priority to increase representation of women, both in the 130,000-strong global surveying profession he leads, and his 900 employees based in 40 locations across the major cities of the world.

Today, 25% of RICS' newly qualified professionals are female, double what it was 7 years ago; a figure which will continue to grow as the organisation reaches more school-age girls each year and works with more skills providers to extend apprenticeship opportunities.

"Our industry's mission is to create places where people can flourish and where businesses can succeed and to do that successfully, we need to embrace the whole diversity of thinking and talent available" Sean says.

"Given the scale of opportunities ahead – from embracing big data and new technological innovation as well as improving thought leadership on how to tackle climate change and resource scarcity -– we can be even more innovative and drawing on a much wider range of backgrounds, thinking and experiences will significantly help with this"

Asian Women of Achievement Awards
“Sean at the 2019 Asian Women of Achievement Awards with the Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction category winner, Sherin Aminossehe FRICS, Head Of Offices, Lendlease (centre)

Responding to the built environment sector's poor record on diversity, Sean launched the 'Inclusive Employer Quality Mark' in 2015, a self-assessment survey allowing businesses to confidently approach their gender imbalances and improve equality in the workplace. 183 real estate, construction and infrastructure companies are now signatories to the quality mark, representing over 300,000 people across the built environment.

Sean is also a keen supporter and contributor to the Women of the Future and Asian Women of Achievement Awards, programmes which support successful young women to help each other through building relationships and nurturing the talents of the next generation.

Visibility of female leadership at RICS has been a major personal priority, and in 2018 Sean achieved gender parity on the Executive Team for the first time in RICS' 150-year history.

"As a father of two teenage daughters, it is important to me that I do whatever I can to help create a working world where they have the same opportunities as men," says Sean.

"The Agents of Change list is a good way to raise the profile of what's been achieved so far, recognise those trying to make a difference, but it also acts as an important time to reflect and recognise that there is a long leadership journey ahead to embrace the full spectrum of diversity in the UKand that remains my focus."