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Breaking barriers: Surveying, "a Male-Dominated Industry"

Breaking barriers: Surveying, "a Male-Dominated Industry"

In a world where the fight for gender equality continues to gain momentum, the field of surveying remains largely untouched by this progressive wave. With International Women's Day 2024 shining a spotlight on the challenges women face in male-dominated industries, a recent article released by Sava has brought to the forefront the stark realities within the realm of surveying. Highlighting the fact that only 14% of their surveying graduates are women, Sava underscores the urgency for a cultural shift within the profession.

Erica Bond, a trailblazer who transitioned from a career in the arts and as a piano teacher to that of a surveyor, embodies the spirit of change. Through Sava's graduate scheme, Erica embarked on a journey not just of career transformation but also of breaking stereotypes deeply ingrained in the surveying industry. Her experiences shed light on the overt and subtle challenges that women face in a field where their presence is scarce.

Reflecting on her experiences, Erica shared, "A couple of male vendors have been most put out that I didn’t need them to lift the drain covers on the property for me, but it was nice of them to offer! I have also had instances of vendors who have said, ‘Oh…you don’t look like a surveyor’ and ‘I didn’t think you’d be a surveyor as I expected a burly, six-foot man!’."

Erica's story is one of resilience and determination. From overcoming the surprise and sometimes skepticism of clients who did not expect a woman surveyor, to addressing the need for supportive discussions around women-specific health issues like menopause in the workplace, her journey is illustrative of the broader struggles faced by women in similar situations. Erica points out the double bind women encounter – the expectation to conform to traditionally masculine behaviours to fit in, while also navigating the practical and social hurdles that come with being in the minority.

"One of the biggest challenges faced being in a minority in the industry is that of menopause or, more accurately, the lack of support out there for female staff members,"

Erica elaborates on the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated field. She stresses the importance of employers having clear and actionable menopause policies in place, not just for the benefit of women but to educate men as well.

Erica's suggestions for attracting more women into surveying hinge on visibility and representation. She emphasises, "I think the perception that you have to act quite masculine to be a surveyor can put some women off... A clearer message that you can be you and bring your whole self into the role would encourage more young girls and women to enter the industry."

Sava's article, released in alignment with International Women's Day 2024, not only celebrates the achievements of women like Erica but also calls for a collective effort to dismantle the barriers that hinder gender parity in surveying and similar fields. It's a reminder that in the pursuit of equality, visibility, support, and representation are not just ideals but necessities that pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable professional landscape.

As the surveying industry stands at this crossroads, the stories of women like Erica Bond serve as a beacon of hope and a call to action. They remind us that change is possible and that the future of surveying, with the contributions of women fully recognised and valued, can indeed be bright and inclusive.

Click here to read the original article published by Sava.


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