More women wanted - for careers in construction

By The Newsroom
Monday, 21st August 2017, 4:20 pm
Updated Monday, 21st August 2017, 5:40 pm

Women are urged to consider entering work in the land, property and construction sectors, to help meet the demand for a more diverse workforce, while bridging the skills gap.

Those who have just received their A-Level results should investigate the varied opportunities that exist in property, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as figures relating to the number of women in the industry remain low.

Lynn Robinson, RICS regional director said: “Unfortunately women only account for just 24 per cent of our student membership.

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"This is a great shame, as there are equal opportunities for women in the industry. But we do recognize 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 among 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.”

Nicola Hargreaves, Senior Project Manager for Faithful+Gould is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor responsible for the administration of several private and public funded projects within the residential, higher education and manufacturing sectors across the North of England.

She said: “I started my career in 2003 as a trainee Quantity Surveyor and although the industry is predominantly male orientated this has not prevented me from grasping opportunities and progressing.

"I have always received positive support from my line managers, who are all men, and male colleagues, and I strongly believe that a good gender balance adds a different dynamic to every project. The industry would benefit from more women to continue to develop and build on a more equal gender balance in the workplace.”

Nicola added: “We are facing our worst construction skills crisis in 20 years, so we really do need to move away from the common myth that the construction industry is just for men.

"The property industry, particularly the construction sector, has changed and relies upon a range of professionals who can add their individual knowledge and relevant work experience to each project - so there really is a vast range of opportunities for all.”

Surveyors design, value and protect all physical assets around the world – from homes, airports, schools, and shopping outlets to sports stadiums, historic buildings and even roads, lakes and forests.

RICS is also working with vloggers to showcase how an interest in technology, fashion or retail can lead to such a career in surveying.

Ms Robinson added: “The increasing use of technology, such as Building Information Modelling, 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.”

Download a copy of the RICS Surveying Careers Guide for more information about roles available in the land, property, construction and infrastructure sectors, including apprenticeship routes: www.rics.org/careers