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RICS cement 'global' partnership with DiverseCity Surveyors .........!!

Statement by Barry Cullen, Diversity Analyst [RICS]

"Having been with RICS for over four years working closely with DiverseCity Surveyors it is a true privilege that the work will continue even further with the launch of the Advancing Inclusion for Black Professionals 'AIBP'.

The reasons for the launch of the AIBP programme are obvious, following the murder of George Floyd RIP, and a raising of consciousness of the inequalities faced by Black people in society. The steps taken by the Executive board members of RICS enabled a voice to be given to professionals and RICS colleagues. It was essential to listen, to uncomfortable truths, to the realities and experiences that Black people encounter. This proved to be a powerful moment and one that was followed by action.

As was expressed by Richard Collins, Executive Director for the Profession

“We are listening and will continue to listen to the views and experiences of black professionals. This can only be a first step, as the need for action is clearer than ever. "We will be working with our profession to drive positive change that will improve opportunity for black professionals, build a more diverse profession, and inspire new generations of talent to join and be welcomed within our industry.”

The programme developed, initially, provides the following:

Visibility – work to address the lack of visible black role models in the profession: including by immediately establishing a panel of black professionals willing to contribute to, join and lead articles, seminars, workshops, panels, conferences and school visits. As an example, we are aware of Bola returning, last year, to his old school [Daubeney Primary, in Hackney (East London)] to showcase and discuss his work as a Quantity Surveyor to young children who had never heard about the work of a Chartered Surveyor. RICS will seek to work with DCS and the wider membership of this panel, at every opportunity, to ensure visibility of the talented black individuals we have in this profession.

Mentoring – launch a reverse mentoring programme so senior leaders of the profession can better understand black professionals, so that black professionals can, in turn, learn from senior figures and gain access to a wider network through their mentors.

Measurement – begin to champion change starting with gaining a better understanding of the extent of the ethnicity pay gap. RICS will ensure that its next profession salary survey gathers information to throw light on this issue and helps inform next steps. In addition, RICS will itself conduct and publish details of its own ethnicity pay gap alongside its statutory gender pay reporting. RICS will also seek firms prepared to take part in, and publish, this work ahead of any statutory requirements in the UK. For leaders, understanding any issues is key to unlocking and role modelling change.

Please get involved by completing this short survey, RICS will work with you and provide support and training should this be required. Your contribution WILL make a difference, will inspire the next generation of Black professionals and will help to improve inclusivity for ALL.

I have genuine optimism and hope that the 'AIBP' programme and the energy that is building from this will create the actions necessary to truly change the profession. I am personally grateful to Bola and the Board at DiverseCity Surveyors for giving myself and RICS a genuine opportunity to consult and work with them to continue the legacy of their work, which started over 15years ago."

Statement by Kathryn Jack, UK & Ireland Member Engagement Lead [RICS]

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to ‘e-introduce’ myself to the DCS membership and readers of the DCS Newsletter!

I work for RICS as a member engagement lead whose job is to inform, enable and consult specialist teams inside RICS to work in synergy with the UK & Ireland market by capturing insight directly from the membership through different channels. As an example of which, is the London Regional Board, that includes DCS Founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, as one of our valued board members.

I see diversity, inclusivity, awareness, opportunities and of course, engagement as the lifeblood to achieving my objectives. I share these views with colleagues, and especially our Diversity Analyst, Barry Cullen, who has offered his perspective on the Advancing Inclusion for Black Professionals 'AIBP' programme above. Further insight into our collective aspirations has also been included in the December 2020 edition of the RICS Modus Magazine, which also features DCS Members, previously profiled during Black History Month.

Diversity matters are close to my heart. I am mixed-race, raised by incredible parents. My mum is Jamaican, and my dad is English, and we were a ‘normal’ working-class British family in the East of England. I know how vital chances are, and the scale of value-added to a young person who can physically see someone who looks like them doing a job they are interested in too!

In 2021, we are going to be promoting our digital community platform called Insight Community which is on a Microsoft App titled ‘Yammer’. Please click here to find out how you can sign up to the Insight Community – it is FREE to join, and you can stay connected with likeminded surveyors, from students to key market influencers to inspirational story-telling retirees. Join today to stay curious and to raise your profile.

Please kindly make sure you complete the survey to get involved with the Advancing Inclusion for Black Professionals programme, starting next year [in 2021]. As we begin to emerge from our own internal restructure, it is vitally important that we continue to engage with the commendable work that Bola started so long ago; and that he continues to grow with his team of Board Members.

As DCS members, you are the future of the built and natural environment, and your feedback can impact all generations. The future at RICS, is inclusive and exciting!

Lastly, I’d like to use this article as an opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and trust that you can rest and relax after what has been an extraordinary year for us all.

Please get in touch with Barry if you would like to learn more about his role at RICS and the current and emerging opportunities that he is willing and able to support DCS members with. He can be contacted at

Credit: Debika Ray, RICS Modus [Montage]


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