While, on the one hand there is reason for industry celebration, with the average salary of UK surveying professionals now being at the highest point it has been in nine years (up 7.1% across the sector as reported by RICS & Macdonald & Company), there are growing concerns as to the continued gender pay gap holding women back from succeeding in a surveying profession. At present, the gender pay gap for industry entrants sits at 28.7%, with male property professionals earning circa £7000 more than female property professionals on average.
Though the 7.1% increase for 2016 is notable, and welcomed by the sector, the slow speed at which the gender pay gap has reduced is news not so welcome to women across the industry. It is true that the gender pay gap has closed marginally, reducing from 27% to 25.9% over the last year on average, yet, for those aged between 18-22 the gap sits at a colossal 28.7% which will no doubt be dissuading aspiring female property professionals.
As a result, there are parties across the industry clamouring for action to be taken, raising awareness of these concerning figures, reducing some of the barriers to entry for aspiring female professionals, and, in effect, creating a far more balanced workforce built upon talent, not gender. One of the highlighted ways in which companies can work towards this is through more inclusive practices that support all of the workforce, not solely a small majority of it.
As such, RICS has launched its very own Inclusive Employer Quality Mark, urging employers to place inclusivity at the heart of their organisation, much like safety, sustainability or local community integration. Urging firms to sign up and display their dedication to such inclusivity, Justine Wallis-Leggett, RICS Equalities Manager commented that, until commitment to change is displayed by within the wider industry, it is highly unlikely that we will see any real change in figures such as these any time soon, highlighting this will only support the, “Subsequent drift of talent away from our sector.”