This year’s International Women’s Day, on March 8, will see the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors urging property firms in Yorkshire to make their female role models more visible, and break down barriers that may prevent them from moving to leadership positions.
Women are expected to make up more than a quarter of the construction workforce by 2020, up from its current level of about 14 per cent, but last year it was revealed there were fewer than 21 women on the boards of the top 20 UK contractors.
To add to this, latest figures from RICS reveal that just 14 per cent of chartered surveyors in the UK are female, which is an improvement on previous years, but still demonstrates that the surveying profession has a long way to go in attracting senior female role models.
Balancing family and work commitments, as well as perceptions of ‘jobs for men only’, are the most common barriers to progression for women in the land, property and construction sectors.
To help address these issues RICS has developed an initiative known as the Inclusive Employer Quality Mark, designed to help firms – of all sizes in the land, property and construction sectors – gain a more diverse and inclusive workforce. It asks firms to pledge their commitment to adopting and continually improving across a number of key areas including recruitment and staff development. Signatories of the pledge are assessed on an ongoing basis, with RICS providing support on any areas identified as needing improvement.