RICS has issued a fresh call to female A-level talent to consider a career in the land, property and construction sectors, and help meet increasing demand for a more diverse workforce and profession, whilst bridging the skills gap.
The facts are hard to deny – less than a quarter of RICS’ student membership is female and we’re facing the worst skills epidemic in decades. Is it time the industry pulled together to help combat the common myth that our industry is “just for men?”
“Unfortunately, women only account for just 24% of our student membership,” said Lynn Robinson, RICS Regional Director. “This is a great shame, as there are equal opportunities for women in the industry. But we do recognise that one of the biggest obstacles in attracting more talent from under-represented groups is the influencers, such as teachers, parents and careers advisors who are not aware of the vast range of surveying careers available for all.
“With this in mind – along with the need to alleviate the skills epidemic – we’re taking steps to raise awareness of the surveying profession amongst young people and its appeal for both sexes. We are about to launch our Inspire 2020 programme, which will involve going into schools and talking to children aged 13-15 about the roles and opportunities available for all in the industry.”
Natasha Tyler MRICS, Associate Building Surveyor at Powell Williams LLP in London, won the Building Surveying category at last year’s RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Award for her achievements in project managing a number of significant built projects, and her dedication for utilising the latest technologies including drones.
“I’ve been in the industry now for six years and it doesn’t bother me that it’s predominantly male orientated as it hasn’t held me back from grasping opportunities and progressing up the ranks,” she said. “But the industry would certainly benefit from more women as we know that a strong gender balance in the workplace makes better business sense. We are also facing our worst construction skills crisis in 20 years, so we really do need to get away from the common myth that surveyors all wear hard hats and work on building sites.
“The property industry – particularly the construction sector – is changing and relies less on physical strength and more on knowledge and relevant work experience, so there really is a vast range of opportunities for all – it’s not just for the boys.”
“RICS is currently working with vloggers to showcase how an interest in technology, fashion or retail can lead to such a career in surveying,” said Lynn Robinson, RICS Regional Director. “The increasing use of technology, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), drones, virtual reality and augmented reality, is changing the skill set necessary for many roles in the property industry.
“This is helping to attract a more diverse range of professionals to the sectors. However, more needs to be done. We need to ensure that an industry that is shaping the world around us is not being decided by one group of people.”