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Women in Surveying

                                         By: Anna Rios, RPLS

          Anna Rios, RPLS is the Owner of Aerios Geo LLC, the Founder of the Women Surveyors Summit, Member of both the National
        and Texas Society of Professional Surveyors, Former Texas Young Surveyor State Representative and recently served as an Adjunct
        Professor for Austin Community College. She is a past-President of the Future Surveyors Foundation. She remains active on many
        committees to promote the Land Surveying and Geospatial profession. Anna has been in the surveying profession since 2001 and
        her background includes experience in a wide variety of surveying services encompassing commercial, residential, and municipal
        projects. She is licensed in Texas and received the Texas Young Surveyor of the Year award in 2019. Anna earned her Certificate of
        Land Surveying/Geomatics from Austin Community College in 2005 and her Bachelor Degree of Science in Business Administration
        from LeTourneau University in 2015.

             ore women are choosing a survey career. Both
        Msurveying and engineering  have small numbers
        of women historically. A quote found on in
        a study called Women in the Workplace 2022 states that
        “32% of women in technical and engineering roles are
        often the only woman in the room at work.” and further
        quoted a Latina, Manager, Immigrant who shared her
        story: “The engineering field is almost all men, and it
        has been for a long time. When I was at university, there
        were just five women in a room of sixty men. And when
        I started working, it was like that too. So it’s a very chal-
        lenging environment.”
          Women  have  continued  to  grow  in  number  in  the
        workplace and now at a faster rate. Many are excited   the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors
        about the opportunities in the survey profession that for so long   (TBPELS), I was able to provide some information for reference. I
        and still is primarily men. Surveying offers so many ways to sat-  originally performed this study in 2019 and updated in October
        isfy different interests, whether it’s history, math, technology, re-  of 2022. Because of the limited information available prior, my
        search, drafting, or the outdoors.  In a climate where everyone is   analysis starts in 1960.
        looking to hire, surveying has something special to offer, but so
        much of the general public has never even heard of surveying.   In the chart, it is evident that the rate of the percentage in Tex-
        Most know of engineering, but surveying is not usually some-  as has increased considerably since 2000. While there could be
        thing that a child envisions as a career opportunity, and this is  many contributing factors to this, some could be from the 4-year
        even more true for girls. The recent increase in visibility of wom-  degree requirement change during that time (now a 2-year re-
        en in surveying has opened the doors for more young women  quirement) with counselors promoting the program. It could be
        to see the value of a profession with such a variety of opportu-  a result of more women entering the general workforce than
        nities. Women are just one of many under-represented groups  ever in the past. It’s also a possibility that there is more visibility
        that can help fill the need for surveyors across the country.  of women in the profession.

          Researching the history of women in surveying is nearly im-  Many women have held roles creating instant visibility through
        possible due to limited data. Most licensing boards do not ask  leadership within surveying organizations. For example, Aman-
        for gender when an applicant applies or registers with the State,  da Allred, PLS, a Director of Surveying and Mapping for Terrane
        therefore, data cannot be easily obtained to study how the de-  of Bellevue, Washington, recently served as the President for the
        mographics are changing. Using the Texas Licensing Roster from
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