Babalola becomes female quantity surveyors’ chairman
In order to be relevant in a changing world, women quantity surveyors have been called upon to embrace dynamism by pursuing the highest standards of professionalism in their field of practice in spite of challenges peculiar to their gender.
The president of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Mrs. Mercy Iyortyer, stated this at the investiture ceremony of the 4th national chairperson of the Women Association of Quantity Surveyors of Nigeria (WAQSN), Prof. Olubola Babalola. Incidentally, Professor Babalola, also recently emerged as the first female professor of quantity surveying in Africa.
The event which also doubled as a seminar had as theme: The Dynamism of the Quantity Surveying Profession: Beyond the Traditional Practice. Iyortyer, who was the chief hostess of the event, challenged the women quantity surveyors to continuously strive to stand out as professionals irrespective of the challenges of motherhood.
“The construction industry has always been viewed as male-dominated. Some of the challenges faced by women in meeting up with their professional roles include family responsibilities, stereotyping women as unsuitable for the industry, insufficient networking and inadequate professional development. However, women possess inherent and acquired skills such as multi-tasking, diligence and caution that continue to allow us to rise above these challenges,” she stated.
Delivering her inaugural speech, Babalola stated that it was time that the Nigerian female professionals stopped sitting on the fence and stood out as professionals, urging them to take positive risks.
“’Risk Positive Change for Dynamic Impact’ will be the catchword of my tenure in line with the vision of the Federal government. The focus of this new executive is to eradicate to the barest minimum, the tepid attitude of the majority of female quantity surveyors towards professional matters.”
She outlined the steps towards achieving the laudable objectives of moving the female quantity surveyors forwards to include continuing professional development programmes, acquisition of relevant qualifications to enhance chances of job delivery, job placement for members and pursuing academic excellence among female students of the profession through awards and prizes.
Speaking to The Guardian, she said her expectations are mostly in the area of seeing the female quantity surveyors grow professionally and otherwise. “Before the end of my tenure, I want to see female quantity surveyors participating in national and professional activities. I want to see them at the forefront as resource persons, as mentors to other people, the younger ones becoming fellows and generally performing very well because we have so many potentials and it is time to release it.”
In his keynote address, the Dean of school, Built Environment and Architecture, London South Bank University, United Kingdom, Professor Charles Egbu, urged collaboration between professionals of the built environment, particularly quantity surveyors and architects for a stronger and better society.
“No profession gives satisfaction like the construction industry. Quantity surveyors and architects should begin to work closely. We must say built profession before we say individual professions,” he stated.
Other speakers at the event included Mrs. Rosemargaret Esuboteng, the immediate past chairperson, Quantity Surveying Division, Ghana Institution of Surveyors on the topic: The Dynamic Woman in a Dynamic Profession; Professor Adesola Aderounmu, President, Nigeria Computer Society (he was represented by Dr. Titilola Akinlade) on the topic: IT-Driven Creativity in Quantity Surveying Profession and Mr. Alabo George a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors on the topic: Quantity Surveyors Engagement in the Renewable Energy Alternative for Cost Effective Power Generation in Nigerian Rural Areas.
Professor (Mrs.) Oluyemisi Oluremi Obilade, vice chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun State was the chairman of the day while the special guest of honour, the honourable Minister for Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed was conspicuously absent.
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