JOINT COMMISSION WORKING GROUP ON
UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS IN SURVEYING
Visit the Web site of the
FIG Working Group on Under-represented Groups in Surveying
This Newsletter in -pdf-format
Activities during the FIG Working Week in
FIG Congress 2006 in Munich
Recruiting the Best and the Brightest…. -
Reflections from a Personal Perspective, by J. Anne Cole,
Personalities: Leonie Newnham, Australia
Affirmative Action continues at ABET, by Wendy J.
W. Straight, LS, USA
Book Review – “The Natural Advantage of Nations", by Leonie
Activities during the FIG Working Week 2005 in Cairo
by Gabriele Dasse
During the FIG Working Week in Cairo the Working Group held a workshop
to discuss a draft of guidelines. Part of the work plan of Commission 1
is, that the Working Group should provide guidelines for FIG (Congress
Participants were Ken Allred (FIG), Clarissa Augustinus
(UN HABITAT), Leonie Newnham (Australia), Jennifer Whittal
(South Africa), Sara Wilkinson (UK, now Australia) and Gabriele
The participants didn’t discuss the draft because Clarissa mentioned at
an early stage that it would be more important for HABITAT that there are
Gender Policies available on the FIG website. She reported that Gender
Policies rate high within UN and HABITAT and for cooperation between
HABITAT and FIG it would be very helpful to have a clear position on this
subject. Additionally it would be possible to have Young Surveyors’
Policies. The policies should contain general statements and declarations
of intent with exemplary activities. The participants agreed that this
would be a good possibility to pave the way.
Future of the Working Group on under-represented Groups in Surveying
By the end of 2006 Gabriele will finish her work for DVW and FIG. One
reason is, that it is her second period of activities in DVW, the German
Association of Surveyors, which is normally the longest possible period of
time for a membership in a DVW-Commission. More important in her opinion
is, that she has been out of the surveying profession since nearly 3 years
now and her priorities are changing. The discussed proposal is, that with
passing Gender Policies and Young Surveyors’ Policies by the General
Assembly a Working Group on under-represented Groups in Surveying would be
dispensable because then all actors in FIG are responsible for the
Nevertheless it would be possible to have a call for papers for
Congresses and Working Weeks asking for presentations on these subjects.
Possibly the network could be transferred to Net.Surve (http://extra.shu.ac.uk/netsurve).
Sara Wilkinson and Pat Turell from UK will discuss it this summer.
It could bring an input for their activities.
At the end of the workshop it was decided that Gabriele will contact
the President of FIG Prof. Holger Magel before the Working Group
starts further activities.
For more information please contact Gabriele Dasse:
FIG Congress 2006 in Munich
There is an open Call for Papers for the FIG Congress 2006 in Munich.
The deadline for abstracts is 15 March 2006. One of the topics for
the call for papers is “Improving participation of under-represented
groups”. For more information:
http://www.fig2006.de/e/themes.htm. I would be very pleased to
organize one or two sessions concerning this subject with your
Recruiting the Best and the
Brightest…. Reflections from a Personal Perspective
by J. Anne Cole, Canada
of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors are being asked to take up
the torch to recruit new members, to let young students know about what we
do and why they might consider geomatics for their studies and future
career. We know the number of newly commissioned surveyors will not
replace those retiring over the next few years. In recruiting the best and
the brightest we face stiff competition from the other professions, in
particular engineering and law.
I am in total agreement with the comments made by Lorraine Petzold
at the Open Forum of this year’s AOLS AGM that recruitment will be most
effective for our small profession if we approach it “one-by-one.”
Every student you hire, every student you get to know through community or
social activities has the potential to join our profession. Whether or not
they do depends on the interest you show in them, the example you set, and
the experiences you provide.
My own experience bears this out. In 1974, as a high school student I
wrote to the President of the AOLS, Gren Rogers to inquire about
the potential of a career in land surveying. He wrote me back and I was
impressed by his passion for his work and by his encouragement that “the
profession is wide open to women.” I was looking for a career. My
criteria included a university education, a profession, opportunities to
work outside, to travel, and to be self-employed. I also wanted to be able
to earn a living doing interesting work. In 1976 the open-minded Murray
Maher gave me a summer job working on a field crew in Sudbury. I was
treated with a mixture of curiosity and for the most part, respect. I
think I must have been naïve and generally oblivious to some of the
exclusion and disrespect aimed my way. With the patience and kindness of
my party chiefs in the early years, I learned to pound in an SIB, make a
picket, and cut line. I learned to ignore catcalls on a construction site.
I tried not to laugh when a client would look me in the eye (or elsewhere)
and say, “Is there anyone here?” (This scene even repeated itself
when I was the OLS owner of a busy practice!) I found I could do the work
and off I went to Erindale College at the University of Toronto. If the
surveyors I encountered in those early years had not respected me and
provided good work experiences I would have chosen another path.
Over thirty years later I am asking myself if I can be as enthusiastic
as Gren Rogers was in 1974. And I am asking the profession if it is indeed
“wide open to women?”
In 1969 Lorraine Petzold became the first woman in Canada to be a
professional land surveyor. In 1978 Maureen Mountjoy become the
second woman to be an Ontario Land Surveyor and in 1982 Kathy Sam-Guindon
and I were commissioned. Currently, 37 women are Ontario Land Surveyors
out of a total membership of 692 (5%). There are two women articling out
of a total of 28 articling students (7%) Four women have retired and out
of 183 Associates, 22 are women (12%).
Do we want to welcome female students in our recruitment efforts?
Acknowledging that I am biased, I think I can boast that some of our
profession’s best brains and talent are found in our women. Women have
been providing strong leadership in our professional organizations. They
run busy traditional land surveying practices and cutting edge GIS
businesses, they administer and manage large and complex contracts, and
they are experts at geodetic surveying and photogrammetry. Women are good
at math. They are strong and fit and are great decision makers. We should
be long past wondering whether or not a woman “can do the job.” And
we should see the female half of the student body as a huge untapped
Are we a female friendly profession?
I recently learned that a stripper was part of the “entertainment”
at the 1983 AGM in Thunder Bay when I was to have attended the convocation
luncheon as a newly commissioned surveyor. (Instead I was in hospital
delivering my first born.) Has the profession grown up any since? At the
AGM last year our guest motivational speaker presumed I was a colleague's
wife and singled me out to illustrate some lame sexist point. I hear that
women wishing to purchase surveying equipment can still be ignored at the
exhibitors’ booths. Advances have been made in the culture of our
organization. I understand in 2005 the Veteran’s Dinner became a dinner
rather than a stag. I have attended a Regional Group meeting where a
surveyor fed her infant child during the proceedings. Our incoming
president was introduced this year by his surveying friend of over thirty
years, Maureen Mountjoy. From Feb 2000 to Feb 2003 Cindy Kliaman
served as one of our AOLS councilors and she also ran for vice president.
Changes in cultural attitudes can take several generations but it is
As a professional body and as individual surveyors we want to be seen
as “modern” and that means behaving in such a way. Young women
considering our profession will want to know that they will be included
and respected. At both the individual level and the organizational level
we can ask ourselves if our speech and actions reflect our desire to say
truly “the profession is wide open to women.” We should all ask
ourselves if geomatics is a profession to which we would be proud to
include our sons and daughters.
Thank you to AOLS past president Tom Bunker for inspiring me to
write this article.
For the past six years Anne Cole has been the Northern Regional
Surveyor with the Title and Survey Services Office, Registration Division
of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. Prior to that she
worked for over 20 years in private practice land surveying in north
eastern Ontario including eight years as the owner of J. Anne Cole
Surveying Ltd in Sudbury. She can be reached by email at
Newnham works for the Department of Sustainability and Environment as
part of the Victorian State Government in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
She fits into the extended definition of Surveyor as held by FIG as she
first graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Geography from
Melbourne University. From there she embarked on a second degree to train
as a teacher in Geography and English and began working with the State
Government while she studied part time.
A love affair with organisations and how they work was born! Instead of
being a teacher she stayed and was chosen to be part of the Graduate
Recruit Scheme for the Victorian Government that gave people intense
training and development for a year as a way of fast tracking them for
management positions in the public sector.
‘I had some fantastic mentors along my career pathway and I met one
while on the Graduate Scheme who encouraged me to build on my
organisational knowledge so I began studying a Masters in Business
Administration with the aim of running organisations,’ said Leonie.
After rising up the ranks of the Public Sector, Leonie moved to be
Executive Officer/ Company Secretary of State Trustees and then ran a not
for profit organisation for 5 years. During this time her daughter
Amanda was born so she came back to the Public Sector for a less
hectic life style. This plan has not always worked as she likes to be
actively involved in her work and profession!
Around the time she turned 40 Leonie reviewed her work life and decided
that her dream job was to work in the field where she started life – the
natural environment. Gathering up her organisational tools she moved in
1997 to the then Department of Natural Environment to work on land
management change programs. This led to a number of years where Leonie
worked in business change projects. Among other projects she became
involved in the development of new land valuation approaches in Victoria,
the development of the vision of integrated land management information
across Victorian Government and reforms in business service delivery such
as statewide videoconferencing facilities being provided for her
During this time Leonie became involved in FIG by being responsible for
organising the Victorian State Government participation in the joint
UN/FIG International Conference on land tenure and associated natural
resource management issues in Melbourne in 1999. This led to her
contributing papers on the land management change programs underway in
Victoria to FIG Working Weeks and her then being invited to be Vice-Chair
of Commission 1 Professional Practice and Standards, FIG, in charge of
working on International Project Management from 2002.
She has contributed a number of papers to the FIG Working Weeks and is
currently working in Victoria to promote and develop innovation in land
management in the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Leonie
would like to encourage anyone interested in these areas to contact her
and become active in the Working Group.
In closing Leonie said: ‘I have found that by being interested and
willing to volunteer time to work with professional groups leads to many
other doors being opened. Once you expand your mind and your understanding
of what you can do, you find that the whole world expands around you.’
M/s Leonie Newnham, MBA, DipEd, BA
Strategic Policies and Projects, Department of Sustainability &
Level 12, 8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne, Australia
Tel: +61 (0)3 9637 8651, Fax: +61 (0)3 9637 9558
Mobile: +61 (0)417 551 633
Affirmative Action continues at ABET
by Wendy J. W. Straight, USA
Thirty years ago, affirmative action programs were underway in American
society at nearly all levels. They began as federal actions to affirm the
presence of women and minorities in fields where they had been
traditionally under-represented. Similar programs then trickled down to
the community level. The major effects of affirmative action were the
recruitment of women and minorities into university programs and
professional fields which had been previously dominated by white males.
As one might expect, a backlash ensued. Affirmative action programs
were labeled by their detractors as “reverse discrimination.”
Eventually, a number of conservative protests and Supreme Court rulings
narrowed the definition of permissible affirmative action at the public
level. Yet, proponents of affirmative action were able to verify the
benefits of tapping into portions of the American workforce which had been
previously excluded from science and technology.
Therefore, programs to continue the recruitment and retention of
traditionally under-represented persons in science and technology have
survived the backlash. These programs are now called “diversity
enhancement” or “diversity enrichment” plans, and they exist at
both the public and private levels.
A new driving force in diversity enhancement is ABET, Inc., which is
America’s leading accreditation service for university programs in applied
science, computing, engineering, and technology. ABET has provided
leadership and quality assurance in higher education for the past 70
years, currently accrediting approximately 2700 programs at 550 colleges
Last fall, ABET’s board of directors reaffirmed the organization’s
commitment to diversity enhancement. The ABET Board also pledged to
reflect its commitment to diversity in all of ABET’s operations. The
Industry Advisory Council of ABET said, “A diverse workforce is no
longer an ideal but a requirement in an increasingly global marketplace.”
The Industry Council is made up of representatives from ABET
constituents such as Norfolk Southern, Eli Lilly, Caterpillar, Ford Motor
Company, Raytheon, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, and ExxonMobil. The
Council considered the “conspicuous lack of diversity” in the
fields which ABET accredits, and then examined the likely implications if
such circumstances were to persist.
The first snag was encountered when ABET examined ways to increase
diversity among the volunteers who serve as program evaluators. Volunteers
are drawn from the 30 professional organizations, or member societies,
which guide ABET. Because they are representative of the membership of
those societies, approximately eighty-five percent of ABET’s volunteers
are white males with an average age of 57.
“Traditionally,” said ABET President Richard O. Anderson,
P.E., “the technological fields represented within ABET have not been
very inclusive; in fact, the educational process in these fields has been
subtly hostile to those who don’t fit the fields’ stereotypes.” In
spite of such constraints on the pool of volunteers, ABET has asked each
of its member societies to put forth volunteers who can assist ABET in
achieving broader diversity in each of its divisions.
The second difficulty is that ABET’s constituents of colleges and
universities have protested the idea of including diversity goals in
accreditation criteria. Therefore, instead of setting new mandates,
Anderson explained, “ABET will identify, recognize, and encourage those
programs that through innovative means and methods are successfully
creating a diverse learning environment for their students.”
ABET’s immediate past president, John D. Lorenz of Kettering
University, said that in terms of gender and ethnicity in the enrollment
rates of undergraduate engineering, the news is generally bad. As the
Industry Council pointed out, the numbers of women entering some of the
traditionally male-dominated fields, such as medicine and law, is nearing
parity, but the percentage of women entering applied science, computing,
engineering, and technology remains disproportionately low. The African
American and Hispanic American populations also remain noticeably
under-represented in these disciplines, as are persons with disabilities.
From a practical standpoint, it is clear that diversity should be
promoted. Diversity has emerged as an essential business practice, one
that is initiated by industry and driven by productivity, said the
Industry Council. ABET leaders echoed the Council’s warning. “I am
concerned,” Lorenz said, about the long-term health of the
education programs at my school, as well as those at [other] schools, if
they continue to grow less attractive to women and minority students. And,
ultimately, I am concerned about the long-term health of our professions
if they are not able to attract increased numbers of women and minorities.”
The good news is that several of ABET’s member societies have already
created diversity enhancement programs of their own. Some organizations
have created committees to improve their relationships with women and
under-represented minorities. A few have created diversity training
programs for their memberships. Many collaborate with the Society of Women
Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of
Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the American Indian Science and
Engineering Society. At its annual meeting last fall, ABET heard
presentations about several diversity enrichment programs.
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is an
example of an ABET member society which has developed a number of
diversity enhancement initiatives. IEEE supports the “Introduce a
Girl to Engineering Day” and the “ZOOM into Engineering”
programs. IEEE also recommended an expansion of the Eisenhower National
Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education. As an international
database, the Clearinghouse has the potential for reaching a worldwide
audience in the promotion of technological literacy.
- The American Nuclear Society (ANS) is another ABET affiliate with
its own affirmative action programs. ANS provides grants in mathematics
and science to culturally or economically underprivileged schools. “Smart
Academy” in Atlanta is an example of an ANS program to improve the
math and science test scores of African American elementary students
from disadvantaged areas of that city.
- The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) suggested that
ABET’s member societies initiate mentoring programs in which individual
engineers share their knowledge and power. AIChE also recommended that
employers and universities be recognized for diversifying their
- The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is an ABET member
society which focuses on affirmative action in the educational pipeline
from kindergarten onward. Moreover, ASCE is currently developing the
Extraordinary Women Engineers Project, which will be an outreach program
to attract young women into engineering.
- The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) created a
Diversity Award in 1996 to honor a member who has worked to make ASME
more inclusive. Diversity Action Grants are given to student sections of
the organization which promote women and minorities in engineering. One
such grant supported a student poster project, which celebrated the
achievements of African American and female inventors and engineers.
- ASME also sponsors a Minority Leadership Internship Program, which
pairs up to five female or minority students with ASME board members to
teach the students about the organization’s inner structure. ASME’s
Standardized Leadership Training Program now includes a 90-minute module
called “Diversity: Improving Volunteer Participation by Valuing
Difference and Encouraging Inclusiveness.”
ABET honored each of these societies as examples of “best practices”
in diversity enhancement. Also, the member societies were encouraged to
assist ABET in the future implementation of its diversity program. “Before
the end of the decade,” the Industry Council said, “the United
States is expected to see almost 2 million new employment opportunities
created in the engineering and scientific disciplines.”
“Our future depends on unleashing the potential of all our
employees, everywhere, and committed leadership is the key to doing that,”
said Jim Owens, CEO of Caterpillar, Inc. Focusing on diversity is
not just the right thing to do, he said, but it’s also good for business.
“Diversity is no longer a mere display of altruism or political
correctness,” said the Industry Council.
Diversity related papers and presentations from ABET’s annual meeting
may be found in their entirety at
www.abet.org/AnnualMeeting/2004AnnualMeeting.html. Other references
may be found at
www.ewc-online.org, www.nsf.gov, and
Wendy J.W. Straight
Professional Land Surveyor; e-mail:
Book Review – “The Natural Advantage of Nations"
by Leonie Newnham, Australia
new book has been published titled "The Natural Advantage of Nations"
(Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century),
edited by Karlson 'Charlie' Hargroves & Michael H. Smith. It
comes out of the Natural Edge Project and is an Australian follow on from
'Natural Capitalism Creating the Next Industrial Revolution' by
Amory and Hunter Lovins & P Hawken. It deals with how
sustainability can be used to promote innovation and positive change
across organisations and government.
I have been to a presentation given by some of the contributors to this
book and found it inspiring as the editors were young professionals who
got together to talk about sustainability issues and found that they were
frustrated at not ‘doing’. So they did by contacting key people in
the field of sustainability and this book is the result. There is a web
site with more details and attached is a summary written by someone from
one of Australia’s premier scientific organisations.
“The Natural Advantage of Nations promises to be a work of inspiring
impact, bringing together as it does leading thinkers from business,
economics, technology, innovation and the environment to tackle the major
challenge of the 21st Century -sustainability.
The book is built upon the premise that achievement of sustainability
rests upon cooperation across business, government and civil society. It
is widely understood that we must shift towards a sustainable future, and
increasingly it is agreed that in order to do so we must move beyond
rhetoric and into hard-edged, pragmatic forward steps.
This book is a vital contribution to that forward movement, and I commend
it to you."
Dr Steve Morton, Group Chair, Environment and Natural Resources,
Editor: Chair of the Joint Commission Working Group
on Under-represented Groups in Surveying
Ms. Gabriele Dasse,
Kleinfeld 22 a, D-21149
3/05, month of issue:
© Copyright 2005 Gabriele Dasse.
Permission is granted to photocopy in limited quantity for educational
Other requests to photocopy or otherwise reproduce material
in this newsletter should be addressed to the Editor.