PLSO The Oregon Surveyor May/June 2022

16 The Oregon Surveyor | Vol. 45, No. 3 Featured Article Are there any projects you think shaped you as a surveyor? Renee: I may be an oddity, but I don’t feel there’s been any particularly defining projects for me. I feel that I’ve learned from all of my projects . . . communication skills, a new research tool, brushing the dust off my cadastral knowledge, etc. Paula: Difficult boundary surveys had the most effect on her skills. Cindy: A project in the Portland area that had a church and required historic preservation of a carriage house. Her role included construction monitoring and staking inside the building. At one point a prism selection error in the data collector made it appear as if the walls were moving; the building was evacuated before the real issue was realized. Alycia: Hands down being an intern at the South Slough Sanctuary. Edith: People have had more influence than projects. Frank Tuers was a mentor early in her career and she appreciated his ability to teach without it being obvious that he was teaching. Are you glad you went into the profession? Renee: Absolutely. I can’t imagine a better fit for my personality. Paula: Yes. Cindy: Yes, but she wishes she had a civil license as well. Alycia: So far surveying feels like the right path and she’s excited to see what lies ahead. Edith: She is glad that she went into surveying and said she can’t imagine being as happy as she is doing any other type of job. She might be willing to do another job, but she wouldn’t be as happy. Do you have any advice for other women in or entering the profession? Renee: We’re all people; a male makes just as good of a role model and mentor as a female. Don’t feel shy about questions, males have them too. The males that I’ve mentored have asked the same questions I did. If someone makes an insensitive comment, use it as a teaching moment for them rather than either staying silent or getting angry. Most likely they thought the comment or action would be interpreted very differently and they will appreciate learning how to actually accomplish what they intended. Paula: Don’t overwork yourself, especially don’t give too much to those who don’t deserve it. Know your boundaries (physical and mental). “I can do this, but you’ll do it better” will gain a lot of respect. Cindy: Don’t be afraid to be a minority. It’s a good profession for women because we tend to have better communication skills. It’s fun to be different. It’s easier for men to remember you than you to remember them since you stand out more. Alycia: There is a lot of variety in subject matter and job duties; this creates extensive opportunity to customize your career based on your interests. Edith: People are less likely to question you if you don’t question yourself. Act with confidence and that you’re equal and it won’t occur to them to think you’re not. In Conclusion My personal take-away is that my experiences seem to be fairly common for the era that I’ve practiced in. There was a time when overt sexism occurred but, for the most part, that has faded from the industry. There is still some lingering room for improvement, but I’m glad for this opportunity to observe how far we’ve come from Paula’s licensing experiences and the depiction in Marked.  Renee Clough is a Pleasant Hill resident who has been working in the civil engineering and land surveying industry since achieving her BS in civil engineering in 2001 from Oregon State University. She is an OSBEELS board member. continued  Of the approximately 820 active surveyor licenses in Oregon, somewhere in the range of 35 to 60 are female. I like to joke that, with so few women to men, the PLSO conferences are the only place I can be in a large crowd and walk right into the bathroom for my pick of stalls. * Based on some group discussions done by the Conference Committee at the conference, the actual number of female surveyors is 34, four own businesses, five are also a PE, and eight are also a WRE (Water Rights Examiner).