Louise Brooke-Smith yesterday took office as the first female president in RICS’ 146-year history.
She has been a surveyor for nearly 30 years and is 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 is a previous chairwoman of Women in Property in the West Midlands.
Ms Brooke-Smith takes over at RICS from Michael Newey.
During her year-long presidency, she plans to focus on: diversity, Africa and her professional specialisms of planning & land economics.
She 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 & Ireland world regional chair, Fiona Grant, so I hope I am the first of many women who will help shape the institution.”