Although land surveying is inarguably a heavily male-dominated profession, the industry today is continually evolving and making constructive advances towards becoming more inclusive of females. In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the number of women who are choosing to pursue an education and career path in the field of surveying. With the current shortage of trained and qualified surveyors around the world, this is likely to be advantageous for the industry as a whole. At Guida, we are pleased and enthusiastic about this positive trend and the future of women in surveying and would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the many dedicated women, both past and present, who have boldly paved the way for future generations of female surveyors.
The First Female Land Surveyors
The journey for female surveyors began in the mid-1800s when Alice Fletcher, a pioneer anthropologist, ethnologist, and social scientist became the first known American land surveyor. Also referred to as the “Measuring Woman”, Alice dedicated a significant portion of her career to studying and learning from the Native Americans. Upon learning of the Omahas’ fear of being banished to designated Indian Territory, she fought for their right to legal titles of their own farms as the white settlers had received. By 1884, she had allotted 75,931 acres in 954 allotments to 1,194 Omaha people, establishing herself in the history books as the first American female surveyor opening the doors for women to pursue a career in the land surveying profession.