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News & opinion

6 MAR 2019

More female role models can and should become FRICS

Only 4% of RICS Fellows are women. As RICS looks to ensure a diverse and talented workforce to keep the profession sustainable in the 21s century, Sharon Slinger FRICS explains how women should have their career achievements recognised with fellowship.

Director at Constructing Rainbows, Sharon was recognised for her tireless commitment to ensuring the industry is attractive, inclusive and supportive for LGBT professionals, men and women from all backgrounds.

Sharon has most recently established the successful LGBTinFM network and she is also director of the STEER development programme which matches professional industry mentors with final year undergraduates at Leeds Beckett and Nottingham Trent universities.

Sharon tells us more about why becoming a Fellow was important to her, and how she is working with other female members to support them through the FRICS process.

Female talent must be recognised

I had been considering doing my fellowship for a couple of years and then last year I found out that only 4% of Fellows are women, and that was what pushed me to do it. I know loads of amazing women surveyors, so I couldn't understand why so few were FRICS. I thought it was important to go through the process and show others that it can be done, and that Fellows come from all different backgrounds.

FRICS demonstrates a mark of distinction

I have always been proud of being MRICS; I worked hard for it and I believe it has really benefitted my career to date, both in the UK and Australia.

Taking the next step to fellowship demonstrates that I have extensive experience and made a long-term commitment to the profession. This is particularly important as I recently started my own company, Constructing Rainbows. My clients all work within the built environment, and the FRICS designation demonstrates a mark of distinction

Supporting more women to become Fellows

When I found out about how few women were Fellows, I spoke with Marion Ellis from Women in Surveying who came up with the great idea of forming a group to support each other through the process. There are now over 20 women in the group at varying stages of the process.

The network cited several reasons more women haven't become Fellows:

  • Imposter syndrome - feeling like they are not good enough
  • Lack of clarity on the process - highlighted when they don't know anyone who has gone through it
  • Lack of role models - not believing fellowship is for them

The support group helps people with all those issues above, providing support and feedback from those that have been through the process.

Sharon Slinger FRICS
Sharon Slinger

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Could I become a Fellow?

Fellowship is awarded to applicants who can demonstrate their outstanding achievements alongside four of the 12 defined characteristics. You will need to provide the following through written submissions:

  • Career history - A 500-word statement on your current role, practices and ambitions, plus a summary of your employment history, and academic and professional qualifications.
  • Personal statement on each characteristic - A 500-word statement demonstrating how your achievement meets the characteristic and reflects the fellowship principles
  • Third party evidence for each characteristic - A statement or copy document from a third party confirming your achievement.

For more information about the process, explore our FRICS qualification page.