Monday, 4th December 2023

Guild seeks improved women participation in real estate

By Victor Gbonegun
24 July 2023   |   3:33 am
The Building Collapse Prevention Guild, (BCPG) has urged professionals in the building industry to collaborate in eliminating issues that hinder increased women participation and structural failures in the country.

The Building Collapse Prevention Guild, (BCPG) has urged professionals in the building industry to collaborate in eliminating issues that hinder increased women participation and structural failures in the country.

BCPG President, Sulaiman Yusuf, said despite undeniable progress made, stakeholders must acknowledge persisting challenges that hinder the participation and advancement of women in the built environment, while calling for a platform that encourages and empowers women to thrive.

Sulaiman, who spoke at an event entitled: “Building Collapse Prevention: Women in the Built Environment Making a Difference” organised by BCPG Kosofe Cell, noted that in a rapidly evolving world, the impact of women in every sector cannot be underestimated, hence the need to recognise the extraordinary contributions and remarkable potential of women.

Sulaiman observed that under the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Goal 5 stands out on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, adding that gender equality is not just a fundamental human right; it is a catalyst for social and economic progress, a driver of innovation and a prerequisite for building a just and inclusive society.

“We must aspire to cultivate a society where every woman with a passion for the built environment can break free from the shackles of gender bias and soar to new horizons of success. We firmly believe that by harnessing the collective power of diverse perspectives, talents and experiences, we can drive innovation, foster sustainable development, and create built environments that truly reflect the needs and aspirations of all and minimise to the barest minimum,” he said.

The BCPG president said the association is committed to achieving its seven point agenda that include pursuit of professionalism, ensuring compliance to physical planning laws and regulations, construction and building maintenance monitoring, outreach to governments.

It also plans establishment of BCPG in six states in Nigeria – Kano, Anambra, Delta, Jigawa, Oyo and Ebonyi, establishment of BCPG in secondary schools, research and strategy.

BCPG pioneer president and past president of Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) Kunle Awobodu, stressed the need to celebrate women, who have made indelible mark and achievement in a profession, considered as male-dominated.

Those recognised at the forum include first and only female past president of Nigeria Institute of Architects, Olubukola Ejiwunmi, first and only female past vice president, Nigeria Institute of Building, Iyabode Bolarinwa, fellow Nigerian Society of Engineers/former special adviser to Lagos Governor on works and infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye.

Others are first female commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Edo- State, Isoken Omo, first female town planner in Nigeria, Catherine George, past chairperson, Women Association of Quantity Surveyors in Nigeria, Adekemi Okusaga and associate professor of surveying and geo-informatics, University of Lagos, Nihinlola Olayinka-Dosunmu.

Some of the women, who spoke during a panel discussion, emphasised the need to balance career with family life to become an icon in any profession.

For Mrs. George, there was a need to uphold integrity in the real estate profession to tackle the menace of structural failures. She encouraged youths to embrace professionalism without breaching their role as mothers and managers of homes.

On her part, Ejiwunmi and Adeyoye, said women in all the seven professional bodies in the building sector must work together to ensure standard materials are deployed in buildings. They urged the youths to work hard, improve capacity and be deliberate, intentional and build a legacy in the profession.

The Olu of Ilado Akoko Kingdom, Rotimi Ikugbayigbe, lamented unfair treatment of women in the society. He also harped on the need for women across all professions to achieve a just and balanced society.