JOINT COMMISSION WORKING GROUP ON
UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS IN SURVEYING
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FIG Working Group on Under-represented Groups in Surveying
This Newsletter in -pdf-format
Mixed Message: Conflicting Images Emerge
from Spring Conference
by Wendy J. Woodbury Straight, USA
What is New in FIG Concerning
Under-represented Groups in Surveying
by Gabriele Dasse, Germany
Personalities: Diane A. Dumashie, United
Why are Young Women Attracted to
Survey Education in Sweden
by Boo G. Lilje, Sweden
Conflicting Images Emerge from Spring Conference
by Wendy J. Woodbury Straight, USA
Reprinted by permission from Progress
& Perspectives May-June 2002.
Gender mainstreaming was a major theme in the wings of the
spring surveyors' conference in Washington, DC. Speakers highlighted the
success of female surveyors in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Austria,
and the United States. Other presenters were on hand to discuss the global
issue of women's access to land, examining the surveyor's role in the equal
application of title and registration development.
However, a few other events at the convention pointed
backward. First, a sexist display found its way into the sprawling exhibit
hall. Second, the national surveyors' association, which is 97 per cent
male, featured a presentation for the recruitment of boys. Third, a
longstanding forum for women in surveying failed to find a new leader. It
On the Plus Side
Two sessions for presenters, organized by Gabriele Dasse
(Germany) and Gail Oliver (U.S.), comprised a joint meeting of the
Task Force on Under-represented Groups in Surveying and the Forum for Equal
Opportunity. The Task Force is sponsored by Commission 1 (Professional
Standards and Practice) and Commission 2 (Professional Education) of the
International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). The Forum falls under the
auspices of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), a member
organization of the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM.) The
joint sessions were held on April 24.
The first session: from left Gail Oliver, Gerda
Schennach, Gabriele Dasse, Karin Haldrup, Wendy J. Woodbury Straight
In addition to a report on the 20-year history of the Forum,
participants in the two sessions heard the following presentations:
Challenges for Women in a Changing Profession (Gerda Schennach,
Austria); Wanted: Women Engineers (Gabriele Dasse, Germany); Mainstreaming
Gender Issues in Land Administration: Awareness, Attention, and Action (Karin
Haldrup, Denmark); Why Are Young Women Attracted to Survey Education in
Sweden (Boo G. Lilje, Sweden); and A Gender for Change: The Future
for Women in Surveying (Pat Turrell, United Kingdom).
Women's issues were addressed elsewhere at the conference as
well. On April 23, Agneta Ericsson of Sweden had presented a related
topic, Women's Access to Land, in a session on land administration sponsored
by FIG Commission 7 (topics in Cadastre and Land Management). Highlights
from each paper will be featured in upcoming editions of this newsletter.
Published papers may be found in the proceedings of the conference.
The importance of role models was a consistent theme
throughout the presentations. Group discussion revolved around the idea of a
"critical mass," the percentage of women within an institution or
an industry that suddenly allows newcomers to feel welcome.
Such a number has been achieved by educational institutions
in Sweden, quickly establishing a gender balance that better reflects the
Another common theme was the importance of professional
associations in the recruitment and retention of young women into the
surveying and mapping arena. Numbers suggest that the more women there are
in the profession, the easier it is for them to participate in efforts to
enhance the professional environment.
For example, the geomatics industry in Germany has a
significantly higher percentage of female involvement than does the
surveying industry in the United States. Yet, unlike America, Germany has no
shortage of established women who are able to engage in recruitment and
retention activities targeted toward young women in geomatics.
Equality in land tenure was another common topic of
discussion. An example of an organization working to monitor women's access
to land is Swedesurvey, a state-owned company that serves as a consultant
for land management, GIS, and geospatial solutions around the world.
Through cultural, religious, or legislative traditions,
women and men are often treated differently with regard to land. Swedesurvey
advocates the equal allocation of land through the use of efficient
Discrimination Still Found in America
In spite of an ACSM policy calling for exhibit displays that
"represent the professional image of the industry," a company
relatively new to the surveying software market featured "booth
babes," female models in shorts and tee shirts. Oliver, who is the
outgoing chair of the Forum, asked if the firm would be willing to feature
male models in similar clothing, to which the reply was, "Absolutely
not." Indicating the lack of clout wielded by America's small
percentage of females in today's industry, a company spokesperson told
Oliver that the use of female models was a business decision that seemed to
Equally disheartening for women at the convention was the
appearance of a workshop sponsored by NSPS to educate young boys about the
surveying profession, "thereby giving the future generation an insight
into our profession and possibly recruiting the next generation of
The program was intended to augment the Boy Scout Surveying
Merit Badge, which was developed by NSPS several years ago. Because there is
no similar merit badge at the Girl Scout level, NSPS has struggled to
provide equal opportunity for girls. To date, NSPS has no educational
program aimed at both girls and boys of middle-school age, but it does offer
the gender-neutral Trigstar program for high school students.
The low percentage of women in United States surveying has
had other repercussions. Contractors have used the low numbers to argue that
they cannot fulfill minority set-asides.
Another downside of the poor representation of women has
been the burnout rate of women who have been active in their professional
associations. With few women in the ranks, those who participate are often
asked to serve on more than a normal share of committees. They do so
courteously, in order to present themselves as role models, but they are
quickly exhausted from carrying multiple loads.
The NSPS Forum for Equal Opportunity was formerly known as
the Forum for Women in Surveying. The DC conference was the termination of
Oliver's second consecutive term as chair of the group.
Conference participants noted that the expense of travel is
one reason that no successor for Oliver has been found; another reason is
the reprioritization of family life in post-9/11 America. In the past
several months, many surveyors, both male and female, have found it
emotionally necessary to work more closely to their homes.
The conference took place from April 19 through April 26. It
was known as the XXII FIG International Congress, and as the ACSM Annual
Conference. The convention was produced in conjunction with the Annual
Conference of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing,
and it was co-sponsored by the Appraisal Institute.
By Wendy J. Woodbury Straight, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is New in FIG
Concerning Under-represented Groups in Surveying
by Gabriele Dasse, Germany
The time span of the FIG Task Force on Under-represented
Groups was limited and ended in 2002 with the FIG Congress in Washington.
Task Force Chair Gabriele Dasse informed the members of the General
Assembly about the Task Force activities with a final report and she got the
opportunity to give a speech during the General Assembly. All information
concerning the Task Force are still available on the following homepage: http://www.fig.net/figtree/tf/underrep/tfunrep.htm
Gabriele Dasse during the General Assembly
Under the lead of FIG Commission 1 now a Working Group
Under-represented Groups in Surveying is established. This is a Joint
working group with other FIG Technical Commissions.
Survey the role of minorities in the world of surveying
and the benefit of diversity.
Analyse the present status of under-represented groups
and be aware of good practices concerning the support of
under-represented groups in FIG member associations, in professions and
Enhance fair competition for minority groups.
Gabriele Dasse (Germany), e-mail: email@example.com
Continuing with a FIG network for under-represented
groups in surveying to enhance the distribution of information.
Intensify the work within the FIG Commissions to support
women and cultural and language minorities.
Evaluation of FIG Washington Congress registration
concerning gender, age, commissions and continents.
Organise joint Commission working group meetings or
workshops during the working weeks.
In the Munich Congress.
||Diane A Dumashie, PhD., BSc., MRICS is the
FIG UK delegate Commission 8 (Spatial planning and development) and
chairs the working groups focusing on Mega-city urbanisation/ informal
settlements and public liaison tools in Coastal Cities. Her aim is to
facilitate communication, collaboration and exchange of ideas.
Attending two working weeks and one congress encourages her that the
FIG framework is able to deliver this objective.
Although in the early 1990's she was seconded onto a Commission
7 working group to lend her experience to coastal issues, over the past two
years Diane's involvement is with Commission 8. She is keen to utilise her
skills and experience in project development management and technical
experience in land ownership strategies, including specialist knowledge in
Marine Resource management and facilitating sustainable development in
maritime areas. Motivated by the Under represented Surveyors group, and the
interest that this generates, Diane's aim over the next four years is to
seek to involve the network in her working group areas particularly focusing
on gender, informal settlements, housing and coastal issues associated with
cities. There is opportunity for this to work across commissions.
To achieve the Commission objectives Diane draws from her
experience spread over 18 years. With over ten years at senior levels, she
manages development, monitor and evaluate large-scale projects including,
financial appraisals and fiscal evaluations, preparation of instructions
for, and negotiations of complex legal documentation. This combines with an
understanding in both corporate industry and SME's business development,
acquired due to involvement in decision making allied to board level.
Three years ago, Dumashie Associates was founded in order to
utilise her long experience of trouble-shooting, path-smoothing and adding
value to complex developments, with a specialism in difficult areas such as
coastal areas, but also redundant urban/ industrialised land. The focus of
Diane's work is increasingly orientated to community level.
Diane specialises in integrating land economics and business
strategies with environmental and sustainable issues. This may be working
for the public or private sector. She has monitored and evaluated central,
regional and local government environmental policy in Integrated Coastal
Area Management (ICAM). Experience gained in an Environmental Consultancy
provides a full under-standing of the engineering constraints along
waterfront land. This adds to her research capability in Marine Resource
Management and interest in community development issues relating to ICAM,
which combined with Cadastre experience enables her to add significant value
in land, real estate and community development of the land/ marine
She's steered projects in London and on Merseyside in the UK
- and internationally on sites as far apart as Ghana, Hawaii, the USA,
Poland and Brussels. Such as helping British Gas release profit from a 100
acre former coastal oil refinery land it no longer needed. Advised corporate
aggregate operator on how to make better use of riverside site adjacent to
the London Dome. Worked with New Town commissions to seek ways to maximise
best value associated with their landholdings in the context of community
objectives. Project managed large development sites to build up to 1,500 new
homes for all sectors of society. As well as helped doctors build modern
surgeries in environmentally sensitive areas.
Chronologically Diane entered surveying as a graduate,
trained for a period at the Greater London Council and a leading asset
management Property Consultancy. Then moved into the Corporate sector for
Allied Lyons, then as a project manager for Marks & Spencers, helping it
to find and upgrade land for its stores and distribution centres. She became
a senior surveyor with Marriott, helping it to grow its hotel business, then
became a development consultant with GVA Grimley before setting up her own
business. Along the way in the corporate sector she's acted as property
director and guided the successful take-over of a 150-outlet chain of pizza
restaurants, as well as involvement with the environmental sector assisting
the oil and gas, ports and aggregates sectors in coastal and marine areas).
Diane desire to share best practice extends to the local
level where she also participates in national and local committees of the
RICS covering issues relating to coastal lands and education. Diane's
current key area of work is allied to sustainable planning approaches
involving the community to regenerate public land and property for housing.
Working to foster the transfer of knowledge and skills Diane welcomes
contact from the members of the Under represented surveyors groups.
Diane A Dumashie, tel + 44 20 8994 4213; mobile + 44
797 424 7748; email:
Keta House, 1 Worgret Hill, Wareham, Dorset BH20 6AD, United Kingdom.
Why Are Young
Women Attracted to Survey Education in Sweden
by Boo G. Lilje, Sweden
Boo G. Lilje
Surveying in Sweden is the ideal educational programme for
those interesting in engineering, law and economics.
Education of surveyors started in Sweden 1628. The education
was in the beginning concentrated on map production. In the middle of the
18th century re-allotment of Swedish rural land was the main task of the
Surveyors. Knowledge in legal matters as well as in economic subjects was
The education was organised by The National Land Survey. In
1936 the first surveyors graduated with a MSc from The Swedish Royal
Institute of Technology, Stockholm (KTH). Education is from 1992 conducted
even at Lund Technical Institute (LTH).
The first female Land Surveyor graduated in 1963. Thus it
took 335 years before Sweden got its first female Land Surveyor. Other male
occupations were Forestry Officer and Veterinary Surgeon. It was for the
next ten years (1962 - 1972) still unusual with female students at the
Surveying Program. Only 13 females graduated out of a total number of 338
(3,8%). The number of female Land Surveyors increased considerable during
the next ten years (1973 - 1982) and out of 467 graduates all together, 107
were females (22,9%). This development continued during the next ten years
(38,9%) and nowadays the female Land Surveyors are in majority. During the
last ten years the female graduates are 52,6% out of all graduates.
The Land Survey Education in Sweden is a comparatively small
Educational Program. It is therefore important to make the education known
to the students in compulsory school. As competence in highest grade of
mathematics is required, the marketing of the Education should start early
to interest the young ones to choose the line of natural science. These
efforts do not differ between boys and girls. However first priority is to
make the education well known.
In Sweden the name "Land Surveyor" is unknown to
most Swedes. The Educational Board in Lund has seriously discussed to change
the name of the Educational Program. However the Board has not been able to
find a more suitable name. Therefore the Board has decided to market the
trademark "Land Surveyor".
If it is easy to be accepted to an Educational Program, the
Program looses in interest and status among the students. It is therefore
important to get both a lot of applicants and a high entrance-points.
In Lund we have managed to raise the numbers of applicants
as well as the level of entrance.
|First hand applicants
|First hand applicants per seat
|Total number of applicants
|Total number of applicants per seat
(15 points means the testimonial "very well" in
all subjects. "20 points means the maximum testimonial in all subjects)
The women nowadays are equal with men or in majority at the
Accepted women to the Surveying Program at Lund Technical
All the students at the Surveying Program at Lund were asked
to answer the question "Why they had chosen the Surveying Program"
in order to investigate if there is a difference in attitude between the
boys and the girls.
Why did You choose the Surveying Program
|The education has good reputation
|The width of the education is
|The facultative education is extensive
|Interested in certain specialisation
|Interested in future tasks
|Expectations of a high salary
|Wanted to become MSc.
|Relatives in the occupation
As can be seen, there is no significant difference between
the reasons why a boy or a girl has chosen the Surveying Program.
The Surveying Program is not the most popular Program among
the young women. As can be seen from the table the Biotechnology Program
together with the Chemical Program is the most attractive Program among the
young women. These Programs are considered technical of a "softer"
kind. The students need not to study hard technical subjects for example
about concrete, etc. Next the young women go for the artistic programs as
Architecture and Industrial Design. The Surveying Program follows after
these chemical and artistic Programs.
The most important factor for the young women to choose the
Surveying Program is the width of the education. The combination techniques,
laws and economics is of importance and attracts those who wants to get a
Important in itself for the students at the Surveying
Program is to become MSc without studying a lot of technical subjects as
physics, tenacity, etc. The students often points out how important it is to
get a technical academic exam. Discussions have taken place to increase the
number of applicants by decreasing the entrance qualifications and accept
those with lower mathematic competence. This will lead to a non-technical
MSc and will make the education less attractive for a lot of applicants. It
will also give Sweden a new kind of Surveyors. So far there has been no
We find the interest of the occupation first in third place.
This factor has for the students at LTH as a whole, the highest ranking. But
it is a well-known fact, that the students applying for a seat in the
Surveying Program, has no or very little knowledge about the education and
the future tasks related to the education. The students choose the Program
by the two reasons mentioned above. Those students who have marked the
factor "Interest" have also to a great extend marked the factors
"Interested in future tasks" and "Interested in certain
specialization". These students want often to specialize in Real Estate
Valuation or Real Estate Management.
The Surveying Program attracts young women by being a MSc-education
with a lot of non-technical subjects. The combination techniques, laws and
economics is the trade-mark of the education. The young women is in majority
and sets the level of the social life at the Program. This is of importance
when marketing the education.
by Boo Lilje, Sweden; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor: Chair of the Joint Commission Working
Group on Under-represented Groups in
Ms. Gabriele Dasse, c/o Amt für Geoinformation und
Vermessung, Postfach 10 05 04, D-20003 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: + 49 40 428 26 5345
1/02, month of issue: July
© Copyright 2002 Gabriele Dasse.
granted to photocopy in limited quantity for educational
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addressed to the Editor.