'I love that every day is different' - Letchworth chartered surveyor Kirsty Harvey is among the female role models in a male-dominated field
PUBLISHED: 10:02 05 November 2016
When you imagine a chartered surveyor, you probably think of a man - but times are changing, with women now making up 13 per cent of the profession.
Indeed, the national body is now headed by a woman – and other female role models in the field of surveying include our very own Kirsty Harvey, who lives in Hitchin and operates from Letchworth.
Surveying affects all kinds of land and property, from a terraced house or cornershop to London’s Olympic Stadium – and Kirsty told the Comet it was a huge privilege to do such work.
“It all started for me with a weeks’ work experience when I was 15,” said Kirsty, who is 45 and has lived in Hitchin more than 15 years.
“It is still a very male-dominated profession, with only 13 per cent of the 118,000 members being female – but I have always found being a minority an advantage.
“At many functions I could be one of only a handful of women, but of course it’s much easier to remember someone that stands out as being different.
“Although the overall number of women in the profession hasn’t really changed since I joined many years ago, there are now a lot more female role models.
“The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ first female president was appointed in 2014/15, and the current president Amanda Clack is championing diversity in the profession in all its guises.”
Surveying has something for everyone, Kirsty said, because there are so many different areas to specialise in.
“I absolutely love being a chartered surveyor as no two days are the same, and I’m passionate about spreading the word that it is a great career option,” she said.
“I have attended a number of school careers fairs in North Herts to let young people know that it could be an option for them, and that there are so many opportunities – local, national or global.”
Kirsty managed property portfolios for a variety of national retailers until she became self-employed in 2012, basing her firm KTD Surveying in Hitchin.
She is one of 10 female surveyors taking part in a first-of-a-kind international mentoring scheme supporting female surveyors in South Africa via Skype.
“As surveying is relatively unknown as a profession, many businesses are not aware a chartered surveyor can help until someone recommends one,” she said.
“The satisfaction I get from it is immense. I have acted for many Hitchin businesses – some of them opening their first premises in the town – and being able to advise them on their property journey is hugely rewarding.”