SCSI aims to raise the profile and participation of women in the real estate industry

While one estimate puts women’s employment in the property sector – estate agency, consultancy, property management, among others – at around 25%, it is still a male-dominated world.

The Construction Industry Federation reported that between 2017 and 2019, the number of women working in the construction industry increased from 5,400 to 12,500, or from 5.3% to 8.49% of the total workforce.

More research on women’s participation and pay is needed, but a survey of almost 1,100 SCSI members in 2020 found that the national median salary for a Chartered Surveyor is €70,000 and salaries medians of women increased by 11%, thus reducing the pay gap. between men and women at 5%. The SCSI report showed that the national median wage in the construction sector was €71,500, in the property sector €66,500 and in the land sector €60,000.

Next Tuesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day (IWD), and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland will launch Elevate, its mentorship program for women surveyors. The company is formalizing the pilot program it launched last year as part of its equality, diversity and inclusion strategy.

Shirley Coulter, chief executive of the society – of which more than 5,000 members, about 20% are women – said the program aims to connect women with mentors working in construction, land and of ownership, and that SCSI is “committed to increasing diversity in the surveying profession . . . the sector has traditionally been male-dominated, but more and more women are pursuing careers in the industry, and we want to give them as much support as possible.

Practical advice

“Whether they’re just starting out, looking to take the next step, or re-entering the workforce, this program will provide them with the practical guidance and tools they need to achieve their career ambitions.”

Starting next month and running through December, Elevate is designed to support women working in the real estate and construction industry and will consist of mentoring meetings as well as online workshops on leadership, awareness self-esteem, strategic thinking, negotiation skills and goal setting.

Next Tuesday’s launch will include online and in-person discussions and workshops with a panel that will be chaired by strategic planning and change management specialist Valerie O’Keeffe. It will include Elaine Torpey, managing director of Torpey Property Advisers, who is a program mentor, and mentee Mary Doyle, who is head of acquisitions at IRES.

It will also include career coach Treasa Fitzgibbon who said that in line with the IWD theme, Break the Bias, a call to imagine an equal world free of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, she will seek to highlight to SCSI members how unconscious bias can affect decisions about recruitment, performance management, promotions and can affect staff motivation and commitment.

To register for the JIF launch event, visit scsi.ie/schedule

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