Many in the Surveying profession will no doubt have been personally acquainted with or indirectly advised of three outstanding individuals who, a number of years ago, decided to embark upon a unique 'female-friendly' platform called Surveying Sisterhood. It wasn’t too long after their hugely successful launch that they collectively decided to re-brand and open their amazing platform to a wider ‘more inclusive and representative’ audience who were desirous of the same empathetic ‘virtual’ environment that they had successfully curated.
DCS Founder & Executive Director, Bola Abisogun OBE, had been following their progress with much intrigue and was approached by them following the award of his OBE in December 2018. Unbeknown, to Bola, the Team at Surveyorhood had also been watching his work and requested him to write a piece for the platform. Since the publication of the piece fondly known as ‘the Bake-Off’, both DCS and Surveyorhood have been truly complimentary to each other. As such, Bola felt duty bound to ensure that all of the team at Surveyorhood were invited to be present the first AGM of DCS, held last week, at RICS HQ on 21 November 2019.
Natasha Stone, of the ‘3 Degrees’ went to say……
"It was with great pleasure that we accepted the kind invitation from Bola Abisogun OBE to attend the inaugural AGM for DiverseCity Surveyors last Thursday, 21st November. Interestingly, we’ve had a number of comments since, and it seems only right to address them here. Why did we go? What right did we have to be present at an event for BAME surveyors? Why should we care? Why should anyone care?
Big questions to be answered, and answered they must be. To start with, why did we go? Because as Surveyorhood, we strive to support Surveyors from every walk of life. From every ethnicity, from every background, and from every gender and sexuality. We’ve published Bola a number of times, and featured him on our #celebr8surveyor wall, along with others from the BAME community too. Truth is, we want to feature more diversity on our site, the voices and opinions that we feel are sorely lacking in much of our day to day lives. The more diverse surveyors we can feature, the more we can showcase the myriad abilities and talent that truly is out there.
What right did we have to be there – well, this is a more difficult one. In truth, DiverseCity was not set up to support us – purely because we already have a societal privilege which so many don’t realise they have. And what good would it be, if we did not use our privilege to help others around us. It is not for the minority to fight for equality, it’s for those of us with the privilege in the majority to do that. In order to understand what’s required to change, we need to hear the stories and barriers that you face every day, and then move to change those things. Erase the bias, call out the injustice and keep trying to make that difference.
Why should we care? Why should anyone care? Because everyone absolutely should. What is society if we don’t hear every single voice and opinion that is out there to be heard? Every idea and thought that could change things for the better. Change our industry for the better, change how the public views our profession. If these things are changed, then imagine what the next generation of surveyors will look like – those who might not have considered this industry as an achievable aspiration?
We were humbled by the welcome we received on Thursday, and filled with a great deal of hope by the inspirational speakers and attendees we met. Whatever the future has in store, we certainly agreed that DiverseCity will have a big role in changing the face of the RICS in the near future, and we look forward to watching the network grow, and hopefully playing a role in facilitating that growth going forward.
In brief, this is what we stand for, and we’d like to invite every single one of you [DCS Members] to contribute to our blog, whether on the main blog or on the #celebr8 wall, let us showcase you and what *you* stand for, what your vision is for the future, and what it is you’d like to change."
Surveyorhood is administered by: Natasha Stone MRICS, Sara Cameron MRICS and Joanna Farnsworth MRICS
Bola Abisogun OBE, had this to say; “DCS remain indebted and look forward to working with ‘the 3 Degrees’ aka The Team at Surveyorhood. Our sole and mutual objective is to sustain the positive impact being created across the Surveying profession”.