NLA asked Jude Kelly, Artistic Director for Southbank Centre and curator of its Women of the World Festival to discuss why it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day and to give us her thoughts about the role of women in the built environment.
The NLA Inspiring Women programme celebrates, promotes and profiles women working across the built environment industry, to inspire others and provide opportunities to meet, network and develop skills.
Read on for some thoughts from some of NLA’s key partners who are working to raise the profile of women across the industry.
Catherine Staniland, Director, New London Architecture
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange. The NLA invited Jude Kelly, Director of the Southbank Centre and founder of the WOW Women of the World Festival to give us her views on why this day matters and how she thinks we can be bolder in championing the voices of women working to shape new areas of London.
Crucially, she says, 50 per cent of people who use the built environment are women, and so we need to be 'absolutely assertive' that 50 per cent women in London’s built environment industries is what we need. You can watch our video above.
Here at the NLA, we have proudly signed up to the LDN Diversity Pledge, supported by the Mayor of London. And through our Inspiring Women programme we aim for 50 per cent female speakers and contributors across our programme.
Over the last few months we’ve heard inspiring presentations women working to transform new areas of London - Kathrin Hersel, Property Director at Almacantar, Rachel Haugh, Co-founding Partner at Simpson Haugh, and Michele Dix CBE, Managing Director of Crossrail 2, who told us that London’s development industry needs to ‘fish’ in a deeper, wider recruitment pool to create a better environment in which diversity can flourish and, in turn, to help to create a better city.
Ensuring diversity and equality across London’s built environment businesses is key in a sector responsible for creating places that work for all Londoners, so let’s be bold for change, and keep striving together for 50/50.
Emma Foster, Development Director, Mount Anvil
We think It is important to recognise the accomplishments and potential of women in the built environment. Mount Anvil is committed to helping raise the profile of women already working in our industry, and inspire young women to embark on careers within the built environment. I am pleased to be joining Peabody and Family Mosaic’s ‘Women in Housing’ event this International Women’s Day, speaking about my experience in the industry alongside Tracey Locke (Mace), Jennie Daley (Taylor Wimpey) and Kate Beesley (Family Mosaic). We joined as Principal Sponsor for the Inspiring Women Series last year, and have been working with the NLA to develop engaging and inspiring content and events for the programme.
Samantha Skinner, Marketing Communications & Business Development Manager
For us at Conisbee it is key to recognise the talents of women in engineering and do something positive to address equality across the industry. It all starts with breaking down stereotypes and reinforcing the fact that being exemplary isn’t a matter of gender. We need to further support the professional development of women and encourage them to participate fully in the industry and most importantly, as leaders; to have them aspire to reach their full potential.
Chie Shimizu, Associate Partner, Weston Williamson + Partners
W@WW (Women at Weston Williamson + Partners) aims to promote gender equality and improve the image of women in the construction industry and architecture professions; to encourage women’s career development and involvement in the office and to passionately champion the importance of diversity in the workplace to a wider industry audience.
W@WW are celebrating International Women’s Day by organising a lunchtime event with an open discussion on this year’s theme ‘Be Bold For Change’ and a series of presentations from in house speakers. A bake sale will take place throughout the day to fundraise for the Fawcett Society http://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/, the UK’s leading charity promoting gender equality and women’s rights at work, home and in public life.
Read more on the NLA Inspiring Women Programme here