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News & opinion

8 MAR 2022

International Women's Day 2022

COVID-19 has cast in sharp relief the complex interplay between our individual experience and the outcomes that are felt collectively across society, and this holds important lessons for our approach to inclusion.

We know that impacts, challenges and opportunities are not evenly distributed, with experiences varying geographically, economically, and socially. This is most obviously illustrated in the epidemiology, whereby one person’s suffering can quickly multiply and extend to others. The same is also true in a broader societal sense via unequal impacts on communities and markets, where every classroom-hour lost or employment opportunity missed is a backward step in our journey as we nurture human progress.

Put simply, whenever a person cannot fully achieve their potential, our collective prosperity is lessened. So, as we mark International Women’s Day (IWD) as part of Women’s History Month this year, I want to encourage everyone working in the built and natural environment to hold this idea in their mind.

RICS is committed to building an inclusive profession where everyone can thrive in a positive and supportive environment. However, today, women currently form only 18% of chartered surveyors. While this is an improvement on previous years, it is a stark reminder of how far we need to go.

To that end, I would encourage everyone to get involved in RICS’ programme of activity in celebration of Women’s History Month this March. Centred around IWD 2022 and its theme of #BreakTheBias, RICS invites everyone in the profession to come together on 8th March for an online event of celebration, reflection and paving the way for a more equitable future. Share your experience and hear from an impressive range of guest speakers all dedicated to delivering positive change in our sector and in the wider world. Register for the online event here.

You can also review the many inspiring stories of individuals who are leading the way through their example and making a constructive difference. RICS will be posting further content and information on this theme throughout the month, so look out for this on RICS social channels and in member engagement communications in your area.

The change we seek does not happen in a single day, but it is a hopeful and energising sign that so many, often extremely early in their professional careers, are striving to deliver progress in this area. Serving the public advantage means reflecting and delivering in the interests of everyone in society. On International Women’s Day, through this month and beyond, let’s come together to #BreakTheBias, and deliver confidence in the inclusive future we want to see for our profession and our world.

Ann Gray FRICS - RICS President-Elect
Ann Gray FRICS, RICS President-Elect