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DCS honours 'quiet' game-changers across the global Surveying profession

The presence of Black History Month ‘BHM’, in a post_George-Floyd environ has presented many challenges for the global population to contend with, not least of which includes some difficult conversations about the 'uncomfortable truths' that continue to co-exist. However, we want to park that soul-destroying conversation for now and pivot onto issues and individuals that actually make people smile and feel valued, through their work.

Historically, and rightly so since its inception in the UK, BHM has focussed on the sterling / game-changing 'historic' achievements of individuals from black origin and the feats, successes and sacrifices that have often been achieved, often in the face of adversity. Whilst there is immense value in this approach, to teach and educate the wider populace, there is less of a focus on ‘current day’ icons. However, this year, in recognition of ‘ordinary, yet amazing’ individuals, DCS have elected to have a weekly promotion via our website / and also on our new DiverseCity Surveyors page on LinkedIn, which launches today [1st October 2020]. We will update this page on a daily basis and continue to further engage with our wider global membership and emerging readership via LinkedIn and other Social Media platforms, including that proffered by our colleagues at RICS.

The format during BHM, will be as follows:

  • Week 1: Black Female Surveyors

  • Week 2: Black Male Surveyors

  • Week 3: Rising Stars of Black Origin

  • Week 4: Young Black Surveyors

Our Founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE who is also a Member of the RICS London Regional Board, even during these turbulent and uncertain times, continues to work closely with the SMT and extensively with the RICS ED&I Team and will ensure that we leverage the above promotion across the ‘global’ RICS Social Media footprint.

In summary we want to focus on those within our talentpool, specifically from the BAME community, who we know and see as ‘actively supporting positive change within AND across the Surveying profession’. This ‘self-promotion’ has grown to become a significant part of our modus-operandi, simply because many within and from the BAME community, remain voiceless. There are many reasons for this profound and often stark inability [recently captured by colleagues over at EG], but in any event, it is the sole reason why we have changed tack this year. There are so many talented, charismatic and insanely articulate BAME individuals, that whilst this is our first attempt to ‘showcase our own’ we hope that the wider community will recognise their individual contribution to this wonderful profession. It is also hoped by all of us at DCS, that the industry / profession, continue to co-create genuine opportunities for BAME surveyors, that permit them to progress in their careers and achieve the successes that they are capable of delivering and so rightly deserve.

During the month of October 2020, we sincerely hope that you enjoy reading about their ‘individual potential’ and multi-faceted contribution to the world of Surveying.

[Day 1] we start with a piece by Dr Diane Dumashie FRICS, CEDR, APM, BSC

Diane currently serves as Vice President of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), and is a Trustee of Lionheart, the RICS benevolent Fund. Her previous board experience includes founder and chair of the FIG, Africa Regional Capacity Development Network, Property Director Scott’s Hotels, UN Habitat Advisory Group on Gender Initiatives (AGGI), RICS Governing Council. And over many years a member of a number of RICS regional, faculty and local boards as well as international expert group panel meetings.

She holds a Doctorate in Land Policy Planning & Integrated Coastal Area Management and a BSc degree in Land & Property Management. She is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an accredited member of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

Starting her career in managing and developing commercial property portfolios, she moved into the retail and hospitality sector. After gaining a doctorate she joined the development consultancy division at Grimly JR Eve before founding her own independent practice supporting UK public sector and donor aid client organisations.

Diane now works across the UK, Africa and the Caribbean, supporting public sector client organisations. Her consultancy practice, Dumashie Ltd, was established in order to utilise her depth of experience in trouble-shooting, path-smoothing and adding value to complex land projects involving spatial planning and economic development. Helping clients to frame those difficult conversations, Diane coordinates and delivers clients strategic projects that have a clear social, economic livelihood agenda linked to land

In the UK this relates to managing and delivering complex land, property and infrastructure regeneration projects with an economic and social development bias in the Health, Housing and local/ regional development sectors.

Internationally Diane helps public sector and multilateral agencies to benefit local communities through land administration, land management and economic development. Often seeking innovative approaches in land governance she specialises in the interrelationship of land, people and power in situations associated with African land governance institutions and gaining societal benefits arising from building sustainable economic livelihood opportunities

Working across Africa, Diane has earned an international reputation for her collaborative and communicative leadership style, and is widely acknowledged as an independent, experienced and innovative Africa country project leader. Diane’s focus is increasingly oriented to institutional building, and has undertaken consultancies for UN Habitat, World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and partnered with FAO, also supported by numerous publications. A well-known delivery expert in the areas of African land issues her work in institutional development & training has seen her involved with Ministries in Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania/Zanzibar and Kenya and through to establishing and operating a pan- African FIG Regional Capacity Development Network, working with land professionals across fourteen African countries.

In addition , holding a Doctorate focussed on business strategy in coastal areas, enables her to specialise in coastal land & marine interface (ICZM); bringing together the needs of coastal communities, economic and industry users and physical dimensions in marine environments and imputing into economic & coastal environmental planning and policy processes in the UK and overseas.

A passionate ambassador of societal equitable access to land and resources, in 2012 Diane established ‘Leadership 4 Change’ dedicated to designing and facilitating participatory knowledge transfer programs to assist African professionals. Regularly asked to deliver key note conference papers, she also chairs and facilitates high level panel discussions.

Director Dumashie, Ltd Director Dumashie, Ltd

Trustee Lionheart Benevolent charity,

FIG Vice President, (

Former Board member, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

(, Former Board Member, UN Habitat, Advisory Group on Gender Issues (AGGI)

[Day 2] _ today we celebrate Veleta Brown MRICS

Veleta, recently qualified as a Chartered Project Management Surveyor and has worked internationally as a project manager in both the public and private sectors. She founded Elevate The Youth CIC in 2017 to allow her to combine her passion for #technology, #construction and the #builtenvironment with her passion for inspiring and elevating the lives of #youngpeople.

Let's celebrate Veleta Brown 🌟- you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 3] _ today we celebrate Deidre Toussaint MRICS

Deidre is an experienced and well qualified Chartered Quantity Surveyor, a proud STEM ambassador and Career Ready counsellor, working with secondary schools to assist the Career Lead to deliver the government’s career strategy as part of the London Enterprise Adviser Network (LEAN). A particular area of expertise is the advancement of diversity enticing more females into Surveying and other STEM professions with the help of the “Girls Like Me” initiative.

Let’s celebrate Deidre Toussaint 🌟 – you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 4] _ today we celebrate Ally Reid MRICS MCIArb

Ally is an extremely talented and well respect member of the Landsec Property Team. Trained and qualified as a Quantity Surveyor, and Arbitrator, she is responsible for a number workflows and support the firms ethnic minority working group, where she remains ad co-Chair.

Let’s celebrate Ally Reid 🌟 – you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 5] _ today we celebrate Michaela Bygrave MSc MRICS

Michaela is a Registered Valuer and specialist in affordable housing advice and valuation. In fact her key specialty is in trying to 'humanise the development process' for her clients.

With extensive exposure to and knowledge of the Continent, she has travelled across Africa talking to and working with those involved in building affordable housing in an attempt to better understand and meet the needs of local people.

Let’s celebrate Michaela Bygrave 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 6] _ today we celebrate Melissa Madjitey MRICS CIHM

With a wide and varied professional journey focused on #socialhousing Melissa is a specialist in the sale and acquisition of large swathes of affordable housing, offering strategic #assetmanagement advice to many of the country's largest residential landlords in the UK.

Outside of work Melissa is a board member of Ekaya Housing Association, a specialist south London based BME landlord catering for predominantly black women in need of support and their children.

Melissa is also a huge supporter of #diversityandinclusion and key member of the Savills Ethnicity Group

Let’s celebrate Melissa Madjitey 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 7] _ today we celebrate Sheila Kaijuka MRICS

With an international flavour and evolving skillset with periods [and experiences] spent in the USA and on the Continent [East Africa] Sheila has embarked on a personal journey of 'trial and tribulation' that has simply allowed her to be a better #professional.