FIG Commission 1 - Professional Standards and Practice

Working Group 1.2
Women in Surveying 


During the period from 2015-2018, the Working group asked the question: Are women still underrepresented in the surveying industry? The results of our research have indicated that this is still the case.

The outcome from the study showed that there has been little change in the participation of women in the surveying profession and that there is some resistance to changing the ratio of male to female representation in certain areas of the profession, for example, in the makeup of panels of keynote speakers at conferences and seminars.

The Working group confirmed in the 2018 Working Week in Istanbul that there is a need and/or demand for a Women in Surveying Network and the Working Group on Women in Surveying will look into how to implement this.

Policy Issues

Therefore we have concluded that a policy is required to ensure that there is equal representation of females and males in all FIG arenas. The Working group proposal is to present a policy statement to the FIG council to ensure a series of recommendations that came out of the previous Working group are applied in FIG.


Robyn McCutcheon, Australia

Specific topics

  • To promote the current and future role of ethics in surveying;
  • To develop implementation plan for the International Ethics Standards (IES) published by the International Ethics Standards Coalition (IESC) in Dec 2016, and to review the results after the implementation by individual member associations;
  • To participate on behalf of FIG as a member of the IESC and to gather results and identify the best practice examples of the implementation of IES for specific surveying cases from the members of the IESC upon the implementation of the IES;
  • To review, based on the results of the best practice examples, if the Ethical Principles in the ‘Statement of Ethical Principles and Model Code of Professional Conduct published in 1998’ (FIG Publication No. 17) should be revised and replaced by the IES.


The proposed action is to continue to build the women in surveying network using the tools available, online social media, meetings at FIG events, online seminars and education. We propose to collaborate with the other commissions, especially the Young Surveyors.


To change the attitudes of the profession to having women participate, to make the profession more attractive and approachable to women, not only young women, but women looking for a long term career choice.

An action plan for getting more women into surveying, for making women more obvious in the industry/profession, for raising respect for women in surveying and for taking the tokenism out of women in surveying.

The list of actions are:

  • actively promote women in the industry,
  • address the hidden bias towards women,
  • address the lack of gender diversity

How to do this? By ensuring that we have:

  • equal numbers of women on boards,
  • equal numbers of women on keynote panels during conferences and seminars,
  • continued support for Women in Survey network in FIG
  • recognition of women in the industry



What we are working on -

  • Setting up the network as soon as possible using the social media tools;
  • Collaboration with other Women in Surveying Networks;
  • Creating the policy recommendation to present to the FIG council – in the first year – 2019;
  • In the 2nd and subsequent years reporting on the success of the proposed policy.

What's New


A round table discussion which was planned in the working week in Amsterdam in 2020 were meant to focus discussions on the diversity and inclusion issues which face our members, but unfortunately it didn’t happen due to the pandemic. Hope there will have updates in the next General Assembly covering the issues relating to women including the World Bank ‘Stand for her land’ and the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 Gender Equality, and whether we should come up with the following statements for ‘Charter for Women’:

  • FIG promotes diversity and inclusion as a key value
  • FIG members must challenge unconscious bias by seeking out diverse views when making decisions or collaborating with colleagues
  • FIG commits to equal gender balance on speaking panels.

Angela Kesiena Etuonovbe and Angela Omamuyovwi Etuonovbe (Nigeria):
Women-In-Surveying Making Waves and Breaking Records in the Shores of Nigeria (10738)
[abstract] [paper]

Maria Tsakiri, Sofia Soile, Charalambos Ioannidis and Vassilis Pagounis (Greece):
Women in Surveying Engineering Courses – a Greek Experience (10449)
[abstract] [paper]

Reshma Shrestha, Bhuwan Ranjit, Rehana Shrestha (Nepal) and Liza Groenendijk (Netherlands):
Looking from the Lens of Gender Mainstreaming: the Inclusiveness of Women in Surveying and Geoinformation Technology (git) in Nepal (10593)
[abstract] [paper]

Priscilla Djaba and Stephen Djaba (Ghana):
Empowering Women in the Geospatial Industry, a Case Study of Ghana, West Africa (10420)
[abstract] [paper]

Angela Kesiena Etuonovbe (Nigeria):
Women Empowerment: the Way Forward for a Progresses Society and Nation Building, Nigeria in Focus. (10737)
[abstract] [paper]

Raja Ram Chhatkuli, Shristee Singh Shrestha, Janak Raj Joshi, Habendra (Nepal) and Everlyne Nairesiae (Kenya):
Impact of Tax Rebate on Land Registration to Women’s Empowerment in Nepal (10629)
[abstract] [paper]


A ‘Charter for women’ is proposed which will be presented to the council for consideration. The 'charter for women' will be a statement listing specific actions that FIG, as an organisation can use to support greater diversity and inclusion. This must be agreed upon by the members of the Women in Surveying group before we submit it to the council. Some examples of statements which may be included:

  • FIG promotes diversity and inclusion as a key value
  • FIG members must challenge unconscious bias by seeking out diverse views when making decisions or collaborating with colleagues
  • FIG commits to equal gender balance on speaking panels.


Roundtable discussion in the FIG Working Week 2019 in Hanoi had a fruitful discussion on the action items, which include promoting women in surveying, addressing hidden bias towards women in surveying, tackling the lack of gender diversity and how best to promote women in the surveying industry and to discuss individual challenges and case studies in each coutnry represented. There were also good submissions about women in surveying, today and tomorrow and opportunities for female land surveyors in emerging economies.

Monika Przybilla (Germany):
Women in Surveying - Today and Tomorrow (10064)
[abstract] [paper] [handouts]

Anne Girardin (France), Emem Isang (Nigeria) and Madaleine Weber (USA):
Opportunities for Female Land Surveyors in Emerging Economies (9981)
[abstract] [paper] [handouts]