By: Bola Abisogun, FRICS, of Urbanis CM LLC [Contributor from U.K.]
A gender / colour-blind construction industry and real estate sector is, in the words of many, ‘a pipe dream’ – but is it possible to still attract, recognise and retain the pent up and available talent that continues to exist and flourish across the globe? Without reference to gender and/or ethnicity, is it at all possible to both recruit and nurture the talent that exists and, in so doing, allow every participating individual to excel and be the best that they can truly be? Such an aspiration could and should apply to all industry participants [starting with the CEO]. Talent really has no boundaries, so to attempt to restrict any deserving opportunity ‘to excel’ to those ‘that look the part’ or have emerged from the ‘right’ background, is at best morally bankrupt and, at the very least, a derogatory affirmation.
Within the context of women [amidst their myriad roles and growing presence] in the real estate sector [and construction industry in particular], the role of the Construction Cost Manager [or Quantity Surveyor as referred to in the UK] presents a huge opportunity for those members of CREW that could and should see themselves as ‘one of the significant custodians of the client’s budget’. So why construction cost management? Well, believe it or not, there exists a huge and growing appetite for such skills across the industry where the ‘informed’ client simply expects so much more from their professional design teams responsible for delivering construction and facilities management contracts for property portfolio clients / project funders. In the presence of Sarbanes Oxley legislation, many project funders have also identified with the value proposition of introducing an impartial opinion on their ‘financial’ exposure to and the ‘actual’ cost(s) of construction-related goods and services, at any given time throughout a project‘s life-cycle.
Following several months of very positive dialogue, leadership of RICS Americas [SE Chapter] has agreed to jointly promote the surveying profession across their chapter’s ‘footprint’. A key theme of a proposed joint and strategic effort will be diversity across the surveying profession. At a recent meeting, a discussion took place where it was mutually agreed that the issue of diversity needed to be addressed without delay and be placed ‘front of mind’ in the interests of promoting various surveying specialisation(s), sector-wide information, and general career guidance.
To further critique the above, it was also discussed and mutually agreed upon that a half-day symposium will likely take place – before the end of 2017 – at a venue within Atlanta that will be hosted by the Southeast U.S. Chapter of RICS and sponsored / supported by other association chapters and leading academic institutions. A list of some of the associations that we plan to include is as follows:
Project REAP: http://projectreap.org/
Leadership Atlanta: https://www.leadershipatlanta.org/
Please stay tuned to learn more about our plans for speakers and proposed itinerary for this special event!
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