More female role models can and should become FRICS
Sharon Slinger FRICS explains how women should have their career achievements recognised with fellowship.
20 NOV 2019
More and more women are qualifying into the surveying profession, with the number currently at 31% - demonstrating that the continued focus on improving gender diversity is carrying weight. RICS has committed to a corporate objective of engaging increased numbers of women in the profession and along with the launch of the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark (IEQM) in 2015, this focus on driving change is making a real difference.
During this time whilst the overall number of women in the profession has moved slowly - 1% year on year to a UK total of 15% - there has been a substantial increase in the number of women entering surveying. A 93% increase in the number of women enrolling across APC, AssocRICS and Senior Professional routes since 2014 demonstrates that continual, focussed activity will make a difference.
There has been a continued focus on the increased engagement of young women coming into surveying. This has been achieved through a number of channels. Firstly, ensuring marketing materials have greater female visibility to help promote the profession - whether for schools or universities - has had a great impact.
Engaging female influencers, such as YouTube influencer Eve Bennett, has also contributed to the increased engagement of young women, by demonstrating the interesting career that is on offer in the space they occupy. Furthermore, by running programmes such as the Inspire Schools programme can specifically target young women - in this case, young women aged 13-15 - as well as ensuring greater reach in terms of ethnicity and socio-economic diversity.
Through sponsorship of the Women of the Future, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Construction category, RICS has not only positioned itself as a professional body committed to championing the increase of women coming into surveying and the wider built environment, but has also helped to cultivate a network of exceptional individuals who are making a huge difference to their industry.
2019 Woman of the Future Ayesha Ofiri is a great example of how the culture within the property sector is changing. RICS is key in this evolution, by creating greater visibility of exceptional women who demonstrate that careers in the built and natural environment are accessible to all.
2018/19 saw a record number of women achieve Fellowship of RICS. When female professionals saw that there was only (at the time) 4% of FRICS that were women, there was a campaign to make a difference. A champion of the change required is Marion Ellis, FRICS who created a Facebook group which encouraged more women to apply for Fellowship as well as promoting this through Women in Surveying. This resulted in 18 achieving this status in a year. Clearly, more women achieving Fellowship must be encouraged.
Through case studies and wider engagement with the profession, through RICS communications and events, there will continue to be a rise in the number of women and minority groups gaining FRICS status, demonstrating that a career for all can lead to greater diversity in expertise.
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