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Press release

10 JUN 2019

RICS’ first female president awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

The first female RICS President has been honoured in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

Louise Brooke-Smith FRICS receives her OBE for services to the built environment and for her activites promoting diversity and inclusion.

During her year as president (2014-15), Dr Brooke-Smith worked to encourage the surveying profession to adapt their working practices to fit 21st century challenges. Recognising a period of rapid change for the built and natural environment, during which urbanisation and climate change rose up the political agenda, she championed the need for the profession to broaden its talent pool and change the public's perception of the construction and real estate industry.

Surveying increasingly has become a more diverse and inclusive profession. During Dr Brooke-Smith's presidency, RICS launched the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark (IEQM), a self-assessment survey allowing businesses to confidently approach their gender imbalances and improve equality in the workplace.

Louise Brooke Smith-RICS
Louise Brooke-Smith FRICS

RICS' CEO, Sean Tompkins, commented: "I am delighted to see the contribution of Chartered Surveyors in shaping our world and advancing the public interest being recognised this year. Louise is incredibly deserving of this honour, and I know that everyone at RICS and in the profession globally will be celebrating her contribution being recognised by Her Majesty The Queen.

"Our industry's core purpose is to create places where people can flourish and where businesses can prosper. Louise saw that we can only do this if we embrace the whole diversity of thinking and talent available.

"She has been a true champion of the view that anyone – regardless of race, social background, faith, gender or sexuality – can join the surveying profession and contribute to ensuring a great future for all people and the places in which they live, work and play."

"RICS also recognises other leading members of the profession awarded honours this year, including a knighthood for the Chair of the RICS Conduct and Appeal Committee Michael Burton.

Other professionals of the institution to be recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours include:

  • James Garwood Michael Wates FRICS, CBE Chairman of Wates Group receives a Knighthood for his services to Business and to charity
  • John Gordon Irwin FRICS, Consultant Chartered Surveyor receives a MBE for services to Business and Economic Regeneration on Teesside
  • Duncan James McLaren MRICS, Lead Technical Advisor for the Valuation Office Agency receives an MBE for services to the Surveying Profession
  • Maria Coulter MRICS, Personal and Business Coach of The Construction Coach, receives an BEM for services to Diversity and Inclusion in the Construction Industry

In addition to readdressing the balance in the surveying profession, Louise Brooke-Smith also helped drive adoption of professional ethics and land registration reform in Africa, known as RICS Sub Saharan Strategy. She also co-founded the RICS-Disaster Management Commission, following the Sri Lankan Tsunami, to advise on disaster management & planning resilience matters in the built environment.

I am incredibly proud to be awarded an OBE and particularly in recognition of work across the built environment endorsing and supporting diversity and inclusion both here in the UK and internationally. This has been an area in which the RICS has been hugely supportive and I consider that together with others we have changed attitudes and put equality, fairness, diversity and inclusion at the centre of our industry at a time when skills shortages are a major challenge. Surveying is a career that should be and increasingly is open to all – there is still work to do but the speed and direction of travel has been impressive in recent years and I am proud to have been part of that journey.

Louise Brooke-Smith FRICS