The business case for diversity

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Inspiring Women Working Group at The City Centre © Agnese Sanvito

Last Wednesday saw the inaugural Inspiring Women Working Group meet to discuss ideas about NLA’s Inspiring Women programme, what support women across the NLA network need and how NLA and its members and partners can work together to deliver this.

Representatives from architects, engineers, planners, developers and consultants met at The City Centre to discuss what initiatives they are currently involved in, both personally and through their organisations.

There is a lot of activity on this issue already across the built environment, with various groups and networks already set up such as the Urbanistas, Chicks with Bricks, Women in Architecture, Women in Transport among many others. The challenge now seems to be how to harness the collective influence of all these various groups and join up the conversations that are happening.

The group discussed and fed back ideas on questions such as: what initiatives are in place already to promote women across the built environment, both within organisations and more widely; which tools are most useful to communicate with and engage people on this topic; and what role NLA can play in supporting initiatives already out there - from other women’s groups and your own organisations.

A rich and varied discussion around topics as broad as mentoring, unconscious bias and making the business case for equality and diversity provided some great ideas for the development of the Inspiring Women programme. Watch this space for a speed mentoring session in late Spring inspired by the discussions had here, and more around the ‘business case for diversity’ later in the year.

Jessame Cronin
Senior Programme Manager

Part of the NLA Inspiring Women Programme

Attendees: Toggle

Isabelle Adams, Head of Scheme Design, Crossrail 2
Cany Ash, Partner, Ash Sakula
Joanna Axon, Development Director, Sellar Property Group
Sarah Bevan, Director, Turley
Chyrel Brown, Director of Resident Services, Hyde Housing
Caroline Cole, Director, Colander Associates Ltd
Amy Etchels, Senior Surveyor - Lease Advisory, Cushman & Wakefield
Emma Foster, Development Director, Mount Anvil
Emily Gee, London Planning Director, Historic England
Helen Gough, Lead Director - Building Consultancy, JLL
Tanvir Hasan, Director, Donald Insall Associates
Emma Kent, Associate, Cundall
Alex Lawrence, Director, Ramboll
Kirsten Lees, Partner, Grimshaw Architects
Cllr Julianne Marriott, Councillor, LB Newham
Caroline Paradise, Head of Design Research, Design & Engineering, Atkins
Samantha Skinner, Marketing Communications & Business Development Manager, Conisbee
Lisa White, Group Head of Culture and Head of HR Europe, Lendlease
Sanna Wennberg, Associate Partner, SimpsonHaugh

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