RLB Partner and Regional Lead for Northern Ireland, Carolyn Brady recently spoke to Ulster Business about what attracted her to the built environment profession, her role at RLB and recently winning the RICS Matrics Surveyor of the Year Award as well as Young Property Professional of the Year at the Belfast Telegraph Property Awards.
This is an abridged version of the interview, for the full article, please visit Ulster Business.
What is your own background?
Born in Lurgan, Co Armagh, I graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BSc in Building Surveying in 2014, gained MRICS status in 2016 and joined RLB’s Manchester office a year later. Keen to encourage women into construction as well as showcase the professionalism of the industry, I became a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) Assessor in 2019. In October 2020, I relocated from Manchester back to Belfast to open RLB’s NI office.
What are your unique strengths?
I have technical expertise covering various aspects of buildings and construction including pathology, construction technology and project management. However, I think where I, and my team in Belfast, stand out, is our ability to help digitalise the industry in NI, bringing both cost and time efficiencies by replacing traditional analogue processes with digital ones. I also like to think I am a people person so obviously enjoy leading the NI team and steering the RLB Graduate Development Programme and Future Professional Forum. I was very proud this year to have won the RICS Matrics Surveyor of the Year Award as well as Young Property Professional of the Year at the Belfast Telegraph Property Awards.
What challenges have you faced so far?
To be honest – not any! I think having a global business supporting us in Northern Ireland, combined with the local knowledge of those who understand the region, has allowed us to flourish. However, as an industry, there is still a long way to go in transforming the culture of the profession so that women are equally represented. At the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards, I was one of five women on the list of 11 category winners in a year when female professionals represented just under 45% of those shortlisted, despite making up just 18% of UK surveyors. Our industries have made some strides with gender diversity, however, there is clearly still progress to be made.
Who or what most inspires you?
It really is a mix of people, and it changes daily. However, there are leaders like recently retired RLB’s Global Board Director Ann Bentley MBE, who not only trailblazed the pathway for women in construction but also achieved so much for the industry with her work with the Construction Leadership Council. I also am inspired by those I see coming up through the industry in my role within RLB’s Future Professionals – their passion, energy, and ability to forward think is amazing.
Where do you think your business will be in the next few years?
We have a 2030 strategy as a business of which Northern Ireland is an integral part. My aim is to develop the team through development opportunities such as apprenticeships to maintain a future cohort of talent and expand the solution-led services we offer to our clients.