The glass ceiling is a well-known phenomenon – in rural surveying it is more of a tweed curtain!

Just 14% of RICS members – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors  are women – but it is something the professional body is aiming to address.

It has launched its Inspire 2020 campaign to encourage a more diverse  workforce and is going into schools to explain the range of careers covered by the surveying umbrella.

RICS South West Regional Director Lynn Robinson said: “We need to ensure that an industry that is shaping the world around us is not being decided by one group of people.”

Senior residential surveyor Janey de Nagle Costello MRICS based at  Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s Yeovil office, is a rare female face in this male dominated world.

Janey is keen to encourage young women to enter the profession and  has been invited back to her former school, King’s Bruton, to inspire others to follow her example.

Janey has enjoyed an extensive career as a chartered surveyor and RICS registered valuer with over 15 years’ experience in the Central London and South West property markets.

Primarily she works in residential property valuation providing a  range of services tailored to individual clients’ needs. This includes a  RICS HomeBuyer report providing a comprehensive inspection of their proposed home purchase and whether it represents a reasonable buy at the  agreed price; mortgage valuations for lenders and private client work  including valuations for tax purposes and expert witness.

It’s a long way from her degree – a joint French and Italian BA from University College London. However, after university she was drafted in to help a family friend who housed staff of embassies and consulates in Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Chelsea.

She loved it and embarked on a post graduate diploma in surveying alongside her day job and has never looked back. “I love it. It’s the best job in the world. History of construction and building pathology is fascinating to me, even the seemingly most banal house can mask  incredible features. Property is so diverse, and represents different  things to different people. In my opinion, the most interesting properties are usually those treated as homes, rather than purely as assets.” she said.

On occasion her fluent French and Italian can come in handy with clients who are surprised to find a speaker out in the sticks!

She is based in the Yeovil office, but will also work closely with the Dorchester, Sherborne and Wells branches.

For more information or for advice please call her on 01935 423474.

Encouraging a more diverse workforce

RICS Regional Director, Lynn Robinson said: “Unfortunately women only account for just 24% of our student membership. This is a great shame, as there are equal opportunities for women in the industry." But we do  recognize that one of the biggest obstacles in attracting more talent  from under-represented groups is the influencers, such as teachers,  parents and careers advisors who are not aware of the vast range of surveying careers available for all.

With this in mind – along with the need to alleviate the skills epidemic - we’re taking steps to raise awareness of the surveying  profession amongst young people and its appeal for both sexes. We are about to launch our Inspire 2020 programme, which will involve going  into schools and talking to children aged 13-15 about the roles and opportunities available for all in the industry.

Download a copy of the RICS Surveying Careers Guide to find out more  about the diverse range of roles available in the land, property,  construction and infrastructure sectors, including the Apprenticeship routes available: www.rics.org/careers