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RICS Takes Steps to Improve Diversity in the Built Environment

RICS Takes Steps to Improve Diversity in the Built Environment
28 October 2022

Alongside other sector organisations, RICS is making plans to “drive forward the creation of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive sector”.

In a “Memorandum of Understanding” representing around 350,000 built environment professionals, RICS has agreed to do more to understand the disparity between the diversity of students that start on institute-accredited courses and make it into the workforce.

The commitment also includes a drive to improve its diversity data collection and to develop practical guidance for other institutions to maintain these standards.

From October 2022, RICS will begin proactively collecting demographic data from members in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, to provide anonymous reports used to help understand the current shape of the profession.

Sybil Taunton, RICS Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion said: “Without an accurate data set our actions are based on assumptions, and that needs to change. The standardising of member data collection across the sector will create a consistent approach, allowing meaningful comparison across our collective memberships and form a clearer picture of the wider built environment sector that informs targeted actions. By agreeing to one set of data questions that is aligned with the Office of National Statistics, we can create a more holistic picture of the built environment that is both sharable and comparable.”

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Landscape Institute (LI), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) are also involved in the project.


Action Needed on Diversity at RICS


As part of Lord Bichard’s independent review of RICS, he reflected on RICS’ record on diversity and inclusion, commenting “I don’t think you’ve taken this seriously enough.

“There have been warm words coming out of RICS on diversity and inclusion but I’m not sure I’ve seen any action. 19 per cent of the profession are women, that’s a terribly low figure and the consequences of this are unsettling."

This led to a recommendation to establish a Diversity and Inclusion Panel to provide advice to the RICS Board and Standards and Regulation Board.

Picture: a photograph of a person working on a laptop and writing on a notepad. Image Credit: PX Fuel

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 28 October 2022


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