Leadership group join forces to tackle diversity in the spatial sector

30 August 2020

A year on from the creation of the Spatial Sector Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, over 30 leaders in the surveying and spatial profession came together in August to hear about the ongoing efforts to make our sectors more diverse, inclusive and dynamic. The Space, Surveying and Spatial Diversity Leadership Network (SSS-DLN) is a volunteer group formed in 2018 with a collective goal to leverage the reach and support of the network to support a more diverse and inclusive industry.

Top of the agenda was an assessment of the impacts and opportunities of the global pandemic and economic downturn on the diversity agenda and extending the scope of the network to include the space industry.

The SSS-DLN has been focused on celebrating success stories which demonstrate practical ways to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, having recently published a series of case studies from organisations and individuals who are making a positive impact, including DELWP’s Melissa Harris, Executive Director Strategic Land Assessment and Information, who features in the Australian and New Zealand Land Information Council’s (ANZLIC) story about achieving greater gender parity on its board.

“As individuals and organisations we know the importance of increasing diversity and inclusion, however it is often difficult knowing where to start. Reaching out to the community to seek inspiration is a wonderful first step,” says Eva Rodriguez, outgoing Co-Convenor of SSS-DLN and Portfolio and Strategy Manager at FrontierSI.

A strategic partnership has also been formed between the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), Consulting Surveyors National (CSN), Survey and Spatial New Zealand (SSNZ), the Spatial Industry Business Association (SIBA/GITA) and the Australian and New Zealand Land Information Council (ANZLIC). This partnership will drive the development of a Trans-Tasman survey which will be pivotal in capturing the baseline data for the state of diversity in our sector and to develop strategies for change.

Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez, outgoing co-convener of the network due to the commencement of maternity leave, welcomes those interested in playing a leadership role to step forward and in doing so, opening the way for continued momentum and fresh ideas.

“The opportunity to contribute to creating a more diverse future for the spatial industry has been an honour and a privilege. Engaging with the community at large has made me aware of the challenges faced not just in our sector, but society as a whole. This is evident as we embrace and welcome, as a network, not only spatial and surveying, but also the space sector. The way the SSS-DLN was formed and how it operates, the generosity and willingness of people and organisations to voluntarily put time and effort in creating a more inclusive industry, are all testimonies of the criticality of this issue and how timely this initiative is. We are already starting to see the actions and innovations underway, but there is still a lot more advocacy and action to do. We all need to keep building on the momentum and ensure that we truly reach and hear from the unrepresented voices, to create the diverse and inclusive environment that enables the right growth for the sector and allows us all to thrive. ”

– Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez, Projects and Strategy Manager, FrontierSI & Co-Convenor Spatial and Surveying Diversity Leadership Network

The membership of SSS-DLN would like to encourage all people from across the entire space, spatial and surveying sector to consider expressing their interest in this unique opportunity to become a leader of leaders and championing the inclusion of all differences, including diversity of background – such as gender, cultural background/identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, education, professional discipline, experience – as well as diversity of thinking approaches.

The Space, Spatial and Surveying Diversity Leadership Network (SSS-DLN) is the industry group supporting the Diversity & Inclusion: Thinking differently about difference action plan.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the SSS-DLN, know of other individuals and/or organisations that we should approach to join, or would just like more information our activities, please contact Diversity@2026agenda.com