Inspirational women in the profession
We spoke to women who are members of RICS from around the world to find out about their journeys in the profession
The demographics of the sector become quite clear when assessing any Conference program. A disproportionate majority of male speakers just reinforces the obvious pattern observed at any business meeting room. Nothing to be shocked by, and far away from a victimized feeling, just a factual result of years and years of a historical professional trend where men populate the engineering classes while women do not.
Taking this into account, the question that comes to several attentive professional’s minds is, how to change this culture and create a positive agenda where, despite gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or disability, more talented individuals could be attracted to engage with the infrastructure sector. The only possible answer is to push change by engaging multiple players and envisioning the establishment of the “new normal”. Normalising diversity will guarantee a sustainable growth and promote a better future with talent attraction and retention, giving people the opportunity to perform better, regardless of their personal characteristics.
Failing to succeed in this task is not an option, at least this is what a highly committed group of professionals in infrastructure sector in Brazil believe. With this in mind, in 2019, INFRA Women Brazil was created. Initially with five members, it has grown to more than 100 people today. INFRA engages women willing to promote change in the sector, covering multiple areas of the infrastructure life cycle in the private and public sector.
The creation of this group followed the Infrastructure Mission Brazil organized in 2018 by ABDIB (Brazilian Association of Base Industry) and UK Government Department of International Trade. The event was hosted at the London School of Economics and at RICS. The participants left the event committed to the idea of connecting more and of forming this group that, since then, has promoted change and transformed women’s lives in the sector.
The main intention of INFRA Women Brazil is to encourage women in the profession to pursue career success. Identifying role models is without a doubt more powerful than thousands of words, and that was the main intention behind the creation of our podcast. #INFRACAST is led by Isadora Cohen and Fernando Marcato, introducing the listener to a substantial number of key players who openly tell us their stories of struggle and success. The podcast became a powerful vehicle for any stakeholder in the country and the stories are also shared with ABDIB by Cintia Torquatto, a co-founder of INFRA. The next project is the creation of a mentorship program.
It is important to highlight that what really motivates each and every one of us at INFRA Women Brazil is our passion for the profession. Creating space for other women to occupy higher steps of the ladder means, at the end of the day, better discussions around the topic, more profit for companies, and creative technical solutions for everyday problems. It means we can be acknowledged for our performances, regardless of our gender.
I couldn’t finish this blog without mentioning my own inspiration that is Amanda Clack FRICS. She is not only brilliant on the profession but also an amazing character. Above and beyond technology this is what really rules the world: women’s allyship.
Head of Development, Latin America
Marcia Ferrari is an architect and an urban planner and has over 19 years of experience in real estate and construction.
She has worked for international companies such as Cushman & Wakefield and Hilti in Brazil. Marcia Ferrari has a post graduate degree in marketing from ESPM and a MBA in Business from BSP.