September has proved to be a very busy period, in the lead up to the celebration of Black History Month, which starts today [01/10/19].
Fittingly, DiverseCity Surveyors 'DCS' have finally established a trio of strategic, industry alliances with the progression of a number of innovative ideas, all with the common denominator of creating a more inclusive workforce across the UK.
Kath Moore MBE, Managing Director of Women into Construction 'WiC', has for many years, had a huge and positive impact on the identification and development of female participants engaging with and pursuing careers across the UK construction industry. As part of our value proposition to the sector, DCS founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE has agreed to work with WiC [here] to develop a specific initiative for women from non-traditional origins [including those from BAME backgrounds] who are considering a career, across the built environment professions, with specific reference to Surveying.
The continued under-representation of women in the Surveying profession was discussed at a recent RICS London Regional Board Meeting and continues to raise eyebrows. The gender challenge appears to be an increasing problem both at mid-management and Senior levels. In the absence of any strategic effort on plugging the gap, DCS and WiC will attempt to positively contribute to this industry ill.
You can also observe [here] the perspective of the industry, led and including a piece, penned by RICS Past President, Amanda Clack FRICS.
On the 25 September 2019, several members of the DCS Board [including, Faith Locken, JLL (Co-Chair of the JLL Race for Change) and Alex Smith of Deloitte] along with 'Rising Star', Kimberley Hepburn, were invited to support the emerging and commendable effort of co-founders Amos Simbo, Tim Ayoola and the team responsible for the successful launch of the Black People In Construction ‘BPIC’ Network. BPIC has emerged out of a dire need to inject more visibility of BAME talent within and across the UK construction industry. The increasing lack and prevailing low levels of ethnicity [relative to the UK population and future growth projections] across both the industry and the profession, would suggest that there are fundamental barriers and structural biases at play that continue to prejudice the optioneering and life chances of many industry professionals, particularly those from a BAME / non-traditional background.
As with the WiC initiative, DCS are planning on a similar venture where the added value of what we do so successfully at DCS, will be offered to any member of BPIC that aspires to become a Chartered Surveyor.
It is also time to unlock the #FutureTalent of the industry by going back to grassroots and engaging 'early-age' school children into the process of understanding the breadth of what careers in construction have to offer, which will include the Surveying piece.
The RICS Inspire Programme [here] is an attempt to enlighten a much younger cohort and generation of future builders, designers and Surveyors as to the potential of considering a career in the built environment.
As part of Bola’s commitment to the RICS Inspire Programme, and after several meetings with the Daubeney Primary School Leadership team [in an attempt to establish a theme], Bola has decided to return to his old school in Hackney, East London to effect change (amidst a wider positive ‘role model’ influence), across the entire school.
The most recent meeting with Greg Logan, Head of School has been facilitated by Hackney Learning Trust, who for many years, have been committed to working with dynamic external partners - such as DCS. The key objective, is to better understand and leverage the mutually beneficial partnership(s) available between academia and private sector innovation. More to follow, watch this space..........
And be sure to have a wonderful #BHM.......!!