With effect from 30 June 2014, Louise Brooke-Smith became President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The first female President in the Institution’s 146 year history, she gave her inaugural speech (1 July 2014) during RICS’ Governing Council meeting in London.
Alongside her presidency of RICS, Brooke-Smith will continue to be involved with the Birmingham based planning and development consultancy, Brooke Smith Planning.
RICS accredits over 118 000 qualified professionals across the globe in land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. Succeeding outgoing RICS President, Michael Newey, during her year-long presidency Brooke-Smith will focus on three core areas; diversity, Africa and her professional specialisms, planning and land economics.
Louise Brooke-Smith, RICS President, commenting on her diversity plans for the year, said: “Chartered Surveying is a globally recognised profession, and we must ensure that it is open to all, whatever their background, or gender. We are a proud industry, but have lagged behind others in terms of making the most of a diverse workforce. That’s why I’m delighted that RICS ‘Surveying the Future’ campaign will be a pillar of my presidential term and will help drive change across industry to ensure we attract and retain the very best talent.”
On being the first female president in the Institution’s history, she added: “I have been elected on my individual merits and not because of my gender. While it might have taken some years, someone has to be first and I am extremely proud that it’s me. We have a female Senior Vice President, Amanda Clack, and UK and Ireland World Regional Chair, Fiona Grant, so I hope I am the first of many women who will help shape the institution.”
Brooke-Smith has worked in the industry for nearly 30 years and is a Director of Brooke Smith Planning, a planning and development consultancy she established in Birmingham in 1994. She is also a Visiting Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University and holds an Honorary Doctorate for services to Surveying from Wolverhampton University. She has been Vice Chair of the National Planning Forum and a previous Chairwoman of Women in Property in the West Midlands. She is currently a RICS Commissioner for Disaster Management.