Making an impact in the world of property, Amanda Clack, Partner at EY, will become the second female President of RICS in June 2016.
HR Aspects Magazine chatted with Amanda and discussed her passion for the built environment, diversity in the construction sector and the career path which has led to her achieving this impressive new role.
What first attracted you to surveying?
“I knew I wanted a profession and a professional career and I was always immensely interested in the built environment. I probably consider train sets and Lego as my initial influence, but then the M25 motorway coming near to the family home had an influence on our life”.
“I got to know the Clerk of Works on that project and started to take notice of big civil engineering projects. This became something of real interest to me and it really all started from there”.
“Straight from school I started doing a day release degree alongside working four days a week as a surveyor. For me it worked and I realised that I’d landed on a career path that I absolutely loved”.
“I feel incredibly lucky that this happened. It was a whole combination of things that suddenly came together – and I’ve never looked back”.
Should there be more diversity entering into the profession?
“I think what we’re facing at the moment in terms of entering into the profession is quite unique. We currently have 24,000 empty vacancies. That’s a huge number and we’ve got to do something about it”.
“There is talk of Britain stopping building by 2019 if we don’t start to address the war for talent. This was one of the really strong themes that came from some research we did at RICS – It was named RICS Futures”.
“I firmly believe we need to embrace diversity and inclusion in order to attract people into the property and construction sector. This means looking at more of the broader issues, such as the LBGT agenda and addressing challenges such as encouraging more females to come into surveying“.
“Currently, 13 percent of the chartered surveying profession are female and quite frankly, that’s not enough. As a professional body RICS has an obligation to address this, and we are, in a number of ways”.
“At RICS we’re working with schools and universities, we’re influencing government and working with business and head teachers to attract more people into the built environment. We have launched an Inclusive Employer Quality Mark to improve the profession so that it fully reflects the makeup of our society and our clients. It will create a benchmark for the sector, driving diversity within the skills pipeline and will be our key armoury when fighting the ‘war for talent‘.
“This Inclusive Employer Quality Mark will enable SMEs and major employers to start addressing the issue of diversity within their own businesses”.
What career aspirations did you have when you first started?
“When I first started my career I wanted to make a difference and felt the best way that I could do that was through the built environment. Everything that you do as a surveyor impacts on people’s lives and different aspects of surveying can impact on people’s lives in alternative ways”.
“For me, the appeal was in working on an iconic project, making a difference both to the built environment and for the public. I enjoy the fact that what we do is tangible and everything that people touch in their lives is impacted by what surveying can bring”.
“I look at the built environment as the ‘wrapper’ that embraces the changing and developing economies in the world, and that’s why I love it”.
If you would like to listen to the audio of this interview, please click on the image below.
You can watch the RICS Futures: Our Changing World video below
Alternatively, for more information on Our Changing World: Let’s Be Ready, please click here.