News in 2021

FIG statement on ensuring Diversity and Inclusion

23 June 2021, at the FIG e-Working Week in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Making the land and property sector sustainable and resilient: Ensuring Diversity and Inclusion

Narelle Underwood, Chitra Weddikkara, Paul Olomolaiye, Victoria Stanley and FIG Vice President Diane A Dumashie

At the FIG e-Working Week 2021, a panel of land and property leaders came together to open the conversation on equality Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). They considered the opportunity that land professionals could make to improve D&I in our survey profession (land, property and natural resources) and to inspire the FIG community.

D&I in its broadest sense is key, a large part of the resilience of our profession needs action to improve gender balance as a key element to tackling the need for the very best talent. With outset in the discussion at this Keynote session an closing action orientated statement  was made for FIG members to improve D&I in our professional working practices and organisations.

In short, FIG members can:

  • Mobilize and partner to accelerate progress for D&I to build and achieve a resilient profession
  • Develop a ‘new social contract’ with our employees that fosters D& I in our organsiation
  • Build an equal, diverse and inclusive working culture
  • Focus on a well-planned approach to promote positive and active change in our organisations and leave no one behind in this thinking.

The full statement is present below and you can also download the PDF version. The full keynote session is also available on youtube and the link is also highlighted below.

Watch and be inspired by the keynote session here:

Statement in.pdf-format (4 pages)


FIG Statement Diversity and Inclusion
Making the Survey Profession Sustainable and Resilient:
Ensuring Diversity and Inclusion
June 2021

Moving from the talk to implementation in Diversity and Inclusion practices we brought together a panel of leaders to listen to their views, experience and we gained pointers to embed D&I into our profession. These are the key message highlights

Above all to implement Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) will need purposeful planning to ensure D& I is measurably advanced in our professional practices and organisational leadership. In addition to voluntary commitments we all have an individual duty to transform our profession by our focused and widespread participation.

To build resilience into our professions;  collectively, across our unique contexts and areas of expertise, we commit to working together to

  • Center Stage the need for D& I policies in member organsiations;
  • Promote D&I by transferring the effective tools, practices and gender responsive policies;
  • Mobilize our members and partners to accelerate progress for D&I;
  • Foster and expand Women’s leadership in governance and public decision making.

This means ACTING TO

1. Promote D&I in the culture of our organisations


  • Applaud the younger generation of CEO’s coming through who are seriously looking and acting on gender and social mobility
  • Grasp the new frontiers and be bold in our actions henceforth.
  • In the context of D&I policy, there is a slow start in gender equity with the issues of pay gap. Introducing transparency to promotion, pay and reward progression is a good start to implementing change
  • Respect that there are increasingly four generations in the work place and that we will be inclusive and positively learn from each other
  • Acknowledge that there are positive discussions; but that we need to recognize this is not always so for many people. This requires us to be attentive to our employees needs
  • Observe that there has been generations of bias; but we can change this with purposeful and focussed actions

Action to:

  •  When inappropriate language/ behaviors are being used it is important for others to step in and call out the behavior.  This helps behaviors to change and must be done in the moment. The power this brings to a minority voice is considerable.
  • At last the language of equality, diversity and inclusion is being used openly, it is important to be aware that the responsibility lies with all to  ensure that our own cultures adapt
  • Take a long hard look in the mirror and ask are we diverse?   Our profession is not alone in needing to increase D&I; we can be the trailblazer leader for the professions

Key action:

  • Appoint within each organisation a dedicated person to hold the role for equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Evidenced Paul Olomolaiye,  Pro-Vice Chancellor for Equality and Civic Engagement, University of West England a thought leader in championing D&I.

2. Pipeline of Talent

  • Acknowledge there is a continuing need to get the talent pipeline fit for the future.   The future and resilience of our profession requires much more technical diversity to adapt and lead in the ongoing development in Ai, Big Data and IoT applications
  • Consider it an imperative to outreach to primary and secondary school as a key element in the supply chain
  • Encourage employers to support entry of employees to further their university/ professional education

Action to:

  • Proactively increase diversity within the profession by opting to choose from a bigger talent pool, and
  • Develop a strategy to change the image of non-traditional education routes into the profession

Key action:

  • Develop and implement an outreach to the young in our communities
  • Evidence: Narelle Underwood Surveyor-General of NSW, Australia and ambassador for evidenced by ‘Get Kids in Surveying’

3. Promote D& I policy and professional Culture


  • Present and implement D& I gender responsive policies in the work place
  • Support the need to centre stage D& I policies in FIG member organsiations.
  • Encourage and facilitate D&I policies that are well-planned to ensure they promote positive and active change in our organisations. This can be achieved by transferring the range of effective tools and practices already available
  • Accept that cultural norms do influence how we work; but we are certain that change can happen slowly and gradually, this increases the importance of role models in all cultures/ societies.


  • Identify and support our role models drawn from diverse backgrounds; men and women, young and old, and to support them to tell their story to facilitate change
  • Start the change from our own homes, in our own communities and countries

Key action:

  • Think ‘out of the box’ to make change in our profession
  • Evidence: Chitra Weddikkara, Chartered Architect, Chartered Quantity Surveyor , pioneered a program for Women skills in construction trades in Sri Lanka

4. Place and society


  • Actively support FIG partnerships with donor agencies that relate to gender equality and societal indications such as networks and programs with GLTN, World Bank, FAO etc
  • Welcome and applaud the efforts of FIG professional standards WG 1.2 women in surveying (
  • Recognise that SDG’s really plays out across our lives; where we work, live and socialise.  Professioanally we can take Leadership on the key trends in Environment, Climate Change & Resilience
  • Foster Women- gender equlity in the land sector in particular tenure equlity


Take leadership in the

  • Land, built environment and natural resource sector by aligned with relevant SDG’s; and
  • SDG 5 that envisages achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in cities and human settlements; and
  • Especially working toward helping women secure access to and control over land, property and housing

Key Action:

  • If surveyors are enaged in any type of project it is important to recognise that there is a social obligation to ensure that the work we do in our contries is inclusive.  This obliges professionals to educate communites on land law and inform and align with SDG’s
  • Evidence: Victoria Stanley, Senior Land Administrator World Bank, USA, Steering committee partner for ‘Stand for her land’.   A program of key thematic areas critical to improving the political, social, and economic well being of women and to ensuring gender responsive urban development

What can we immediately do about this?

5. Participatory opportunities for FIG members:

Our members can:

  • Mobilize and partner to accelerate progress for D&I to build and achieve a resilient profession
  • Develop a ‘new social contract’ with our employees that fosters D& I in our organsiation
  • Build an equal, diverse and inclusive working culture
  • Focus on a well-planned approach to promote positive and active change in our organisations and leave no one behind in this thinking.

“Diversity makes sense: it is in the DNA of humanity which we can take into our organizations;
It is morally right to do so and leads to sustainable organizations.”
“D&I is the responsibility of ALL; not just the minority”


  • Chair, Diane Dumashie, FIG Vice President, Dumashie Ltd, UK/Ghana

  • Narelle Underwood, Surveyor-General of NSW, Australia

  • Chitra Weddikkara, Emeritus Professor, Chartered Architect, Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Sri Lanka

  • Paul Olomolaiye, Professor Construction Engineering and management, Vice- Chancellor for Equalities and Civic Engagement, University West England, UK

  • Victoria Stanley, Senior Land Administrator World Bank, USA

Nanna Jørgensen
October 2021