2019 marks 100 years since women were sanctioned to join the surveying profession.
Irene Barclay became the UK’s first female Chartered Surveyor back in 1922, qualifying only 3 years after the removal of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919. Irene was truly a trailblazer, dedicating her career to improving living conditions for London’s poor and endeavoring to improve and develop social housing, Irene went onto practice for 50 years, finally retiring in 1972!
Today the surveying profession is still very much male oriented, however, times are changing, with many women becoming Chartered and inspiring others to begin their careers. Modern day female trailblazers include; Amanda Clack (FRICS), who in 2017 became the longest-serving RICS President in 123 years and Louise Brooke-Smith who became the RICS’ first female President in 2014. Signs of progress are further illustrated by RICS’ Global Performance Report 2017-18, that states; 23% of new professionals awarded RICS designations were female and 24% of new candidate enrolments were female.
GP Surveyors are proud to be a progressive company, supporting equal pay and employing a surveying team made up of 50% females. To mark the centenary of women in surveying, we would like to celebrate our incredible female surveyors and the work they do.
We asked the team what they enjoyed about the profession and here’s what they said:
Lauren Wallace, RICS Valuation Surveyor
‘Historically, surveying doesn’t seem to have been the natural career choice for women, however, I think modern careers in surveying offer a much more flexible and enjoyable job than the perception! Being at the start of my career, with my APC in a few months’ time, I am excited to see more and more women choosing to become surveyors. The job, particularly at GP Surveyors, offers the opportunity for travel around the UK, encountering different types of surgery premises, enabling me to become an expert in my field and to build my confidence, both in a professional and a personal sense. The support I receive at GP Surveyors from fellow female and male surveyors alike in my career development is second to none, and even as a relatively new member of the team I feel my professional opinion is respected, asked for, and encouraged’.
Clare Kersey, RICS Chartered Senior Surveyor
‘The experience I have as a mum of two re-entering the world of surveying has been refreshing. I qualified in 2002 and although there were plenty of female surveyors, I found there to be a negative attitude towards flexible working. Fast forward to 2016 when I joined GP Surveyors, having recently returned to the profession following a maternity career break, and the situation could not be more different. I was able to return to a profession I have worked and trained hard for, on terms which facilitate a good work/ life balance. I am also able to do the morning school run, which was important to me.
As a Senior Surveyor, I enjoy helping the team grow in confidence and knowledge. The whole team works so well and closely together and although we uphold a professional standard, the office environment is very relaxed and enjoyable. It is a pleasure to be part of the team at GP Surveyors.’
Charlotte Wilkinson, RICS Chartered Senior Surveyor
‘When I first announced that I was going to embark upon a degree in Real Estate at Sheffield Hallam University many people responded with the question ‘isn’t that a very male dominated career?’. It was no surprise to me that when I looked around the lecture hall there was a handful of women and the great majority were men. Historically, surveying has had a reputation for being a male dominated industry however, from the very start of my career in property I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work alongside and be guided by some very inspirational women.
Since joining GP Surveyors in 2016 more and more women have joined our team and it’s encouraging to see the changes across the industry. The industry as a whole has embraced flexible working and I hope that this will encourage more inspirational women to seek and maintain a career in property’.
Emma Pratt, RICS Chartered Valuation Surveyor
I didn’t take the typical route into surveying prior to getting into Real Estate I studied geology at Leeds University which was a male-oriented environment where there were only a handful of girls out of a course of 200. After realising I wanted to begin a career into real estate I decided to become a surveyor.
I began my life at GP Surveyors back in 2016 where I came in as a graduate and the youngest member of the team. It was no surprise to me when I joined that I was the only woman within the surveying team as it is often thought of as a predominantly male profession.
However, more and more women are becoming part of surveying – take our office for example. Shortly after I joined 3 other female surveyors joined the company. In only 2 and a half years the office is almost 50/50 male and female with half the surveying team being female.
My current role as a surveyor changes on a day to day basis where no two days are the same. In our line of work, we work across the whole of the UK which means we get to see a variety of places and people from a variety of backgrounds. I really enjoy the surveying team at GP Surveyors as we are all like-minded individuals.