RICS survey shows healthy industry with gender pay gap closing.
Supply of skilled talent forecast to decrease.
The 20th RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey has found that professionals in the built environment industry are mostly positive about the outlook for 2019. Indeed, the survey suggests that despite Brexit, more than half of the respondents expecting their companies’ revenues to increase.
RICS professional qualifications were also once again reported to command a higher industry salary, and the survey found that the gender pay gap has narrowed in some sectors, including construction, but that far more needs to be done across the board with bonus payment disparity still large.
“Addressing the needs of the industry of the future, in recent years RICS have used our leadership role to ensure the awareness of surveying and the built environment as an aspirational career path for a diverse audience,” says Sean Tompkins, CEO RICS, “and we’re encouraged to see progress in the gender pay gap, as well as RICS professional qualifications being held in high regard in the marketplace.”
In terms of Brexit, at a company level, there is general positivity for the year ahead, as 34 per cent of respondents expect their company is likely to increase hiring of new permanent staff – rather than decrease. However, Brexit is likely to cast a shadow over the industry as the availability of skilled talent is likely to decrease. Respondents also expect Brexit to have negative effects on their personal situation, their employer, sector and region, as a whole.
RICS Professional accreditation still commands a higher salary in the latest survey with RICS qualified professionals earn an average of 39 per cent more than non-professionally qualified counterparts. An RICS qualified professional earns a median salary of £48,600, compared to the median salary of a non-qualified professional of £35,000. In addition, those with further qualifications reported further salary uplifts.
Sean Tompkins, CEO RICS, adds: “RICS Professional qualifications, with our members working to international standards, have once again been seen to command a higher salary. The Rewards and Benefits Survey 2019 shows that attaining skilled workers will likely be harder post Brexit, despite a generally positive outlook for 2019, and the standards that our professionals work to that cross markets will be key.”
Working in the built environment is seen as rewarding with 58 per cent of respondents feeling valued or very valued in their role, however there are a significant number who are not happy, with 37 per cent of respondents either likely or very likely to move jobs in 2019. The total of 42 per cent who feel neutral to very undervalued is remarkably close to the 37 per cent who are likely or very likely to move jobs. Salary was the number one answer for feeling valued, however, work/life balance came a close second with 90 per cent citing this. Appreciation by line managers, colleagues and senior managers was also high on the list. Respondents cited work/life balance issues as decreasing their satisfaction. Separately, the survey found that a flexible approach to hours including the ability to work from home, as well as recognition for effort and achievement, were the factors most important to increasing productivity at work.
Good headway is being made in closing the gender pay gap in some sectors, however the overall gender pay gap is similar to last year. Age wise, at entry level the gender pay gap is 3.53 per cent, and at age 23-26 the gap is 6.56 per cent but the discrepancy in median salaries grows the higher you move up the rank of seniority. There is also still a discrepancy in bonus payments, with as much as 160 per cent difference at age 18-22, and 250 per cent difference at age 56-65 between men and women.
Looking at changes to working practices to allow for a more balanced and diverse work force, the results indicate that the industry is becoming more accommodative to work/life balance needs. Such benefits cited include working from home (46 per cent of respondents are eligible to receive); flexible hours (35 per cent); family healthcare (22 per cent); Employer pension (74 per cent); Critical illness/life cover (37 per cent).
“Closing the gender pay gap is an issue that cannot be solved overnight,” said Peter Moore, CEO of Macdonald & Company. “Headway is being made across most sectors of our industry and overall, the pay gap has fallen to 20 per cent and is close to the national average of 18 per cent. As more women are encouraged into the real estate and built environment realm, we expect the pay gap to close further.”