Contrasting the profiles of Female vs Male quantity surveyors in South Africa

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Danie HoffmanTebogo Hellen NgeleBenita Zulch

Abstract: Quantity surveying in South Africa is a well-established professional discipline providing consulting services to the construction industry. The continued prosperity of a professional discipline such as quantity surveying is closely linked to sound management and efficient strategic leadership. The leaders and managers of the profession require accurate and up-to-date information on the profile of their members to integrate that information into future strategies and planning.Young democracies and developing countries such as South Africa often have demographics and financial industries, including the construction industry, that are much more dynamic than first-world countries such as the United States or Great Britain. Local government upliftment policies such as black economic empowerment changed the economic landscape. The membership profile of the quantity surveying profession is also seeing rapid change, presenting additional management challenges. A profession with a stable profile is easy to manage using past knowledge of membership makeup and preferences. However, a changing membership may cause strategies based on the knowledge of 5 to 10 years ago to be found wanting today.The recent COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economies and industries and did not spare the construction industry or the quantity surveying profession. During this time, the South African Association of Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS), assisted by the University of Pretoria, analysed the profile of its members employing a questionnaire forwarded to all ASAQS members on the database. This data confirmed significant changes to the age and racial makeup of the profession. However, the changed gender profile was amongst the study’s most significant findings. In the past, the typical South African quantity surveyor was a middle age to older male of European descent. This study will contrast the older members of the profession against the more recent entrants by comparing the profile of female members to that of male members. The analysis will include age, race, locational spread, academic qualifications, nationality, registration status with the Council of South African Quantity Surveyors, and length of the current employment term to provide a reasonably detailed comparison of the gender profile of quantity surveyors in South Africa.The above information will be valuable to the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors and to the management of quantity surveying firms and institutions such as universities that offer accredited academic programmes to train quantity surveyors. The findings can also be shared with quantity surveying professionals across international borders to compare against the profiles of their millennial cohorts of quantity surveyors.

Keywords: Gender, Profiling, Quantity Surveyors, South Africa

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003906

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