Spotlight on Aisha Akram
In August, we chatted to Aisha Akram, Associate Director who works at our Edinburgh office to ask her a couple of questions about her career so far and what it's like working as a female surveyor in a male dominated industry.
Q: How long have you been in the industry and how long have you been with Allied?
A: I have been in the industry for 17 years and I have worked with Allied Surveyors for the last 15 years.
Q: What office are you current based in?
A: I currently work in the Edinburgh office covering the Edinburgh market. However, I began my career in the Fife market and moved to the Allied Surveyors Dunfermline office in 2006.
Q: What’s it like being a female surveyor in a predominantly mans world?
A: I always wanted to be a surveyor from a very young age. I remember during high school my careers adviser said to me, “this is not a job for me as I will get my hands dirty”. At that point, I was advised to choose a different career path and that being a surveyor was not a job for a female. This made me want to achieve my goal even more. I love what I do, and the best part of the job is meeting so many different people from different backgrounds. I love that I get to be in my hometown and work in the property market of one of the most prestigious architectural places in the world. I'm glad I didn't listen to that careers advisor!
Q: Is there a difference in the number of females working as Surveyors now than there were when you first started?
A: When I first started working as a surveyor there was very few females around, some had initially started to train but eventually changed their career path. As years passed, I noticed the numbers starting to increase not just in the residential sector but also in the commercial sector. I think this was due to them seeing less of the old fashion stereotypes which I had experienced from people who were only used to seeing male surveyors at their doorstep.
Q: Do you foresee the number of females working in the property sector increase over the next 5 years?
A: Even though there are more female surveyors these days, it is still predominantly a male dominated profession. However, I do feel the numbers in the next five years will increase as marketing materials have shown great diversity over the years. I think this is having a positive impact when young female students are deciding on their career path and I hope to see more strong female surveyors climb the ranks shortly!