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News & opinion

3 JUL 2019

Anjali Pindoria: Driving industry change

Meet Anjali Pindoria, Project Surveyor at Avi Contracts Ltd. Anjali has spent the last six years working her way up since starting out as a trainee surveyor.

Tell us about your current work role

My role is predominantly to manage the accounts of the projects we are undertaking. However, my tasks vary from carrying out traditional quantity surveying tasks to project manging projects on site.

Being a small firm, you tend to have to be more versatile and there isn't a job now within the firm that I haven't done. From being hands on and offloading materials to helping the carpenters on site refurb doors to more business-related tasks such as paying suppliers. You learn it all when you get stuck in and that is the beauty of working for a small firm. Your knowledge of how to run a business becomes apparent quickly and you end up learning life lessons rapidly too. I thoroughly enjoy my role as I am constantly learning new things.

Anjali Pindoria
Anjali Pindoria

You are also a passionate speaker on the diversity and inclusion agenda. What changes do you see happening in the profession which would enable more women to progress?

Diversity and inclusion are close to my heart because of the experiences I have faced in this industry and is the reason behind my voice for change.

The biggest change I've seen is that the conversation has started. Companies are becoming advocates of equality, diversity and inclusion and I have been lucky enough to get involved with sector wide initiatives led by large companies to not only progress women in our industry but all minorities. But we must not talk for too long or the actions will become stale. We need to act on what we are promising and stand by those promises, not only for our generation of constructors but those that follow.

I also believe people who are getting involved in the conversation are becoming conscious of their actions. We won't be able to change the industry by night, but those thoughts will provoke action.

However, I am yet to see changes affect day-to-day work at subcontractor level. Being a subcontractor myself, the conversation has been more hearsay. I believe we need to start pushing the initiatives down the supply chain and that is where real change will happen. Once I see this change happening I will know we are a step closer to achieving true diversity.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in surveying?

Construction is exciting, unique and always evolving. Like with anything in life, it will never be an easy wave to ride, so you must pace yourself and never get too wound up.

Our industry relies on interpersonal skills and working as a team. There are such large branches of surveying you can enter from being client-focussed to roles like mine at subcontractor level. The other benefits are that the skills are transferable internationally, so millennials who want to go travelling and experience working aboard can also do so.

Another bit of advice I would strongly give is to take all opportunities that come your way. Get involved with the industry and it isn't hard to do so, like other professions. One thing I have learned so far in my short journey is that you never know what opportunity is at your door. I definitely didn't know about the networking opportunities available when I started my journey with the diversity and inclusion events.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to take the next steps in their career?

I think the main thing is the battle mentally to make an idea into reality. We all have desires, but until we get up and enlist change to make it happen, we find excuses for why we can't.

The next step is to take risks that will take you out of your routine. You might fear what society will say: I sure was when joining the industry as it wasn't seen to fit my profile and stereotype. But for us to break these, we need to go against the professional norms and set an example for our peers.

Push yourself and prove that you can achieve those large aims you have. It is okay to have different views, and you shouldn't mould yourself into the stereotypes of the industry. Be the change the industry seeks, there is a large cultural change amongst us, and we need everyone on board to make this possible.

Most importantly, believe in yourself and the place you have in this industry. The rest will come with time.

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