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International Women’s Day – 8th March: An Interview with Philippa Gould

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On International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the importance of women in the property sector. In this article, Philippa Gould, Associate at Barker talks about what attracted her to surveying and the world of buildings.

Philippa joined Barker in 2009. She is a Chartered Surveyor and RICS Certified Historic Building Professional, as well as a member of the Ecclesiastical Architects & Surveyors Association (EASA). She was also shortlisted for the RICS Young Surveyor of the Year Award in 2017.

What attracted you to the property industry?

I really enjoyed STEM subjects at school, in particular the problem-solving aspect, which building surveying has in spades.

I wouldn’t describe myself as artistic, but I have always appreciated and been drawn to architecture.

I’m also quite nosy, so poking around in the unseen areas of buildings, e.g., belfries, basements or roof tops is entertaining for me!

My first introduction to Barker and Surveying was being sent around London to do drainage surveys on work experience from school. Not the glamourous world you may expect, but somehow, I came back.

Where did you study?

I initially studied Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham, then I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Surveying which enabled me to complete my RICS Assessment in Professional Competence (APC)

What is your role at Barker?

I am an Associate Building Surveyor. I oversee condition survey work, design and project management of education buildings and ecclesiastical projects.

Do you have a particular specialism?

I am fascinated by historical buildings and I am often involved in projects that involve conservation. It gives me great satisfaction in restoring important buildings, perhaps after a fire or neglect, and preserving them for future generations.

I am also an RICS APC Assessor for the next generation of aspiring surveyors. I am always particularly pleased to see young women choose a career in surveying.

What is appealing about careers for women in surveying?

Women are still underrepresented in careers in property, but trends seem to show this is gradually changing with more young women choosing surveying as a profession. I would highly recommend this career.  In my experience with Barker, it offers variety, flexibility and autonomy.

Which types of building amaze or inspire you?

Any building that isn’t brand new. Whilst I appreciate the skill and craft that goes into new construction, I prefer buildings with heritage.  Buildings that have history, or a story to tell, always appeal to me.

How do you think the industry can encourage more women to become surveyors?

Most people’s only interaction with a “surveyor” is when they buy a house; this is a tiny fraction of the building surveying sector and an even smaller sector of the surveying profession as a whole.

It is important not to pigeon-hole careers into gender stereotypes. Women should be allowed to feel that anything is possible, and the world is their oyster. That includes the world of property and surveying.

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