Livery Life – A very female perspective
Livery life can be perceived as being a very male dominated environment, indeed it probably once was, and the history points to the roles and titles that exist today such as Master, Alderman, Sheriff, etc. emphasising the male orientation of the heritage. But scratch a little beneath the surface and livery life, particularly at the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, is anything but. Yes, there are still social events such as shooting and sailing days, which may be considered more for the men than ladies, but all events are open to everyone (and personally as a qualified sailing skipper my hand is up for any chance to get on the water!).
With RICS professional female membership still wavering in the mid-teens (I think current estimates are 17%) we have a long way to go to help change the dial and attract female talent into the profession, which is why it’s more important than ever that we attract more females into the Livery. We have a target of 25% by 2025 and I would love to see that happen.
The Livery exists to support our charities and the City, but also as a great place to network and meet leaders from the surveying fraternity in formal and informal settings. We have the formal dinners, which always give a great sense of occasion, tradition, and pageantry. But there are also the fun events form walks, talks and theatre/ballet/music events. So there really is something for everyone, and partners are welcome at most events too.
Getting involved is easy, and there is the potential to become a member of the various committees or the court whereby you help to shape the agenda. We have already had three female Masters in the Chair, which shows how open our Company is.
So, for any would be “Livery-women” out there, my advice: take the plunge and join. You get out of something what you are prepared to put in. As a female in this industry, it is great to be in an environment where everyone has a common background in surveying and shares a common purpose, and from this great friendships and experiences unfold.
Member of The Court, The Chartered Surveyors’ Company
Head of Strategic Advisory/Head of Public Sector, CBRE