Events

London Event: Unlocking growth through infrastructure – 19 June 2018 – Book Now

Join Women in Planning London for the latest instalment in the When Women Plan London Event series – Unlocking growth through infrastructureon Tuesday 19 June 2018. The event is kindly sponsored and hosted by Dentons.

Cynthia Bowen, President of the American Planning Association, will deliver a keynote address on the American experience before the topic is discussed by all female expert panel including:

  1.  Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI (and formerly CEO of Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation)
  2. Caroline Taylor, Commercial Specialist, Delivery Unit of the Infrastructure & Projects Authority
  3. Caroline Foster , Senior Development Manager at Urban & Civic

Date: 19 June 2018

Location: Dentons, One Fleet Street, London, EC4M 7RA

Event format & Timings:

17:15 – Event registration and networking

18:00 – Keynote address by Cynthia Bowen, President of the American Planning Association

18:20 – Panel discussion

18:55 – Q&A with the audience

19:00 – 20:00 – Networking and drinks

20:00 – Close

For more information and to book your place, please follow this link to our Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/when-women-plan-london-unlocking-growth-through-infrastructure-tickets-41419833838

Kindly sponsored and hosted by:

Advertisements
event write up

Thank you for joining Women in Planning London and Future Cities Catapult – 17 May 2018

Thank you to everyone who joined Women in Planning London and Future Cities Catapult on the 17 May 2018 at our second event of the ‘When Women Plan London’ series. The theme for this breakfast event was ‘Digital Innovation and Technology’ and was well attended by students and professionals across the public and private sector. We are extremely grateful to Future Cities Catapult for hosting and sponsoring this event.

The theme aimed to explore the impact of data, digital innovation and technological advancements that have or will change the built environment sector. Our expert panel were asked to give a 7-minute presentation to showcase their work and what they’ve been involved in, whilst also providing an insight into where the future of the sector lies amidst the technological revolution.

The morning opened with an introduction to event by Women in Planning London Committee Member Nissa Shahid, followed by welcome address from Erin Walsh of Future Cities Catapult. Erin gave a presentation on how she moved from planning to Plantech and the journey that brought her here. She also gave an overview into the work the Future Cities Catapult have done. This was followed by our four panellists showcasing their work in planning and technology.

Michelle Warbis from Future Cities Catapult gave an overview of her journey from the Greater London Authority to the Future Cities Catapult, and how her work with digital planning notices has evolved into a working prototype while Fran Bennet from Mastadon C gave an overview of the work that her team have done in using data science to overcome and resolve civic problems.

Ekaterina Lichtenstein from Project Imagine relayed her journey from the Built Environment sector to fintech and gave us five lessons that she learnt from the move that could apply to using tech in the built environment. Kadine James from Hobs Studio gave us a case-study demo on how 3D could assist in consultation, demonstrating examples of augmented reality and virtual reality to the audience.

This was followed by a Q&A session where the importance of adopting technology was discussed.

IMG_5635IMG_5631

 

 

Events

Solent Launch Party – 24 May 2018 @ Slug & Lettuce, Winchester

We are delighted to announce the launch of Women in Planning Solent. Join us on 24 May to hear Aaron Wright, Planning Manager for Barratt David Wilson Homes, talk about trip to India where she was involved in delivering housing.

Time: 18:00 – 21:00

Date: 24 May 2018

Venue: Slug & Lettuce, 12-13 The Square, Winchester SO23 9ES

Agenda

18:00 -18:30 – Registration and networking

18:30 – 19:30 – Delivering housing in India, Aaron Wright, Planning Manager for Barratt David Wilson Homes

19:30 -21:00 – Networking, drinks and nibbles

It is free to attend but booking is essential. Click here to reserve your place.

This event is kindly sponsored by Barratt David Wilson Homes.

Barratt_HOMES_Logo_GREY_HorizDWH_Logo_Horz

Events

London Event – When Women Plan London – Digital Innovation and Technology in Planning – 17 May 2018

The rise of data, digital innovation and technology have upturned and disrupted various industries, from finance to social services to healthcare, making them faster, more efficient and smarter. With innovation occurring in all these sectors, there is a presumption that planning, and the built environment is being left behind.

We have gathered some of the leading women in the planning and technology sector who are showing us that this is not the case. We will be hearing how digital disruption and innovation is occurring at all levels of planning and related sectors and how planning is fast catching up with embracing and utilising technology to help us plan better.

Date: Thursday, 17th May 2018

Time: 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Location: Future City Catapult Urban Innovation Centre, Future Cities Catapult, 1 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0BE.

Agenda

8.00 am – Registration  &  networking

8.30 am – Welcome address Stef Webb – Future Cities Catapult

8.40 am – Presentations and panel discussion, chaired by Nissa Shahid from Women in Planning London and Future Cities Catapult

9.20 am – Q&A

9.45 am – Networking

10:15 am – Finish

Speakers

Nissa Shahid, Women in Planning London and Futures Cities Catapult

Michelle Warbis – Future Cities Catapult

More to be announced!

Click here to book.

Kindly sponsored hosted by:

FCClogo

Article

Are networking events for everyone?

Within planning consultancy’s networking is generally encouraged and I regularly enjoy attending planning events with other colleagues. However, after inviting some old colleagues to a planning event, it made me realise that there is unwillingness for some planners, particularly within local authorities, to attend social planning events in London.

After chatting with friends who work as planning officers within local authorities it is clear that networking events can carry a stigma as being just for ‘private planners’. I know from experience there is reluctance to attend networking events for fear of being targeted by consultants and the intimidation of not knowing anyone. Because of this, I used to avoid organised planning events or try and leave as soon as the ‘networking’ drinks began.

This led me to question what actually happens at planning networking events and whether these events can be beneficial to planners in all sectors.

When I first started as a junior planner working for a local authority, the thought of going to networking events after work seemed intimidating and uninteresting. There was the fear that I knew too little about the profession to join in with conversations or that nobody would be interested in what I had to say. Furthermore, I didn’t understand what benefits networking with other planners would give me.

I got dragged to my first networking event by a colleague, it was a summer social event and she persuaded me with the promise of free drinks and a chance to make some new friends. Upon arrival I realised that there was a real mix people, including public/private planners, urban designers, students and researchers. Of course there were people who knew each other, however, people seemed friendly, approachable and open to chat and meet new people.

Following this I began attending more planning events, where I made new friends and new contacts as a result. Personally, I used these events as an opportunity to informally chat with planners about their experiences and to learn more about the different opportunities in planning, not only to find out what planning consultants did on a daily basis!

I find that these events, particularly Women in Planning events, can also be a great way to chat in a relaxed environment with often inspirational and influential people in planning, of which you may not otherwise meet.

Having had a chat with two of my colleagues, it is clear that they also felt networking events were daunting but beneficial for different reasons. As an international planner from Australia, Analeise attended planning events in order to make friends in a new country and expand her knowledge of the UK planning system.

For my colleague Chris, who has worked in both the public and private planning sectors, he considers that attending organised planning events broadens his knowledge on how both sectors operate. Chris considers that often ‘insular attitudes’ in both sectors can prevent planners from understanding each other and these events help break barriers and can create a more positive relationship between sectors.

Among planning consultants networking events are generally acknowledged as being beneficial for expanding contacts and improving communication skills; however, I think they can certainly be beneficial for all sectors for different reasons.

For those who want to get involved, it’s important to know that these events are attended by a variety of professionals in all sectors, including students and people who just have an interest in planning. The majority of people there have no specific agenda other than to make new friends, learn new skills or even just to have a glass of wine and chat with interesting and like-minded people after a day at work.

For people, like myself, who would like to make use of networking events but feel intimated by them, why not drag a friend or colleague along for confidence, or grab a drink and introduce yourself to a couple of people following a talk, you never know what you might gain as a result.

By Tiffany Mallen, member of the Women in Planning London Committee.

 

Article

Pressing for Progress

As part of IWD I reflected on a few experiences from my working life. Progess? Yes…..but.

I started work in the late 1980s. There was no equalities training at my Council. No HR guidance to speak. An elderly, male, white colleague used to ask, when interviewing young women, ‘what does your husband do?’

 Definitely progress here, in my world this just would not happen now. But is that universal? I don’t think so.

A recent YouGov survey, for the Equalities and Human Rights Council, reported that of 1,106 senior decision-makers, a third of those working for private companies thought it was reasonable to ask, in the recruitment process, about a woman’s plans to have children in the future.

59% said she should have to disclose if she is pregnant and 46% said it was reasonable to ask a woman if she had small children. Which all implies that this would form part of their decision making process on whether to offer a woman a job.

44% of employers believed women should work for an organisation for at least a year before deciding to have children – can you believe that? All a bit Handmaid’s Tale with employers wanting to exert control over our bodies and fertility.

When pregnant with my first child I asked to come back on a job share basis. My boss, and the Council, saw it as a good thing, not a liberty, not a nuisance, but good working practice.

I know I was fortunate enough to have an economic choice. I was able to reduce my salary by 2/5ths, not everyone can.

My Job Share partner and I both worked 3 days a week (so there was a small cost). We did our job share for 10 years – an arrangement which enabled us to spend more time at home whilst continuing our career and of course our pension contributions (another area where women are affected more than men).

Not only continue our careers, but progress in them too. We applied, as one, for a promotion to be Head of a Service at another Council, a position we got. But it was an interesting experience. Between us we could ace that job; we had complementary skills, and together were a powerful combination. But we were very much seen not as one, but as two. Although the two of us would be doing one job, we had to both cover all the PS requirements – they weren’t looking at whether together we could do the job, but whether we could individually do the job. So we had to come first and second in the scoring. We did. But it doesn’t make it easy for a partnership like that to thrive and develop – would this approach give the impression that you can’t easily progress your career in a job share? Perhaps.

In terms of working in planning as a profession, I don’t think men and women have different attitudes or approaches. Planning tends to attract people with quite a caring and positive, want to negotiate, mindset. My male and female colleagues don’t approach their work differently. Some people might think that negotiation and compromise are more female than male traits, but I don’t see any evidence of that.

In terms of representation, there seem to be more male than female planners – including here – but we are closer to parity than in other built environment professions (38% of the chartered members of the RTPI are female). Although RIBA and RICS have both had female presidents recently, women are far less well represented in those professions.

But that’s not to say that male and female planners have the same experiences. Local authority planners have to tell architects/agents that there is a problem with their scheme. We have to be assertive and confident. Some female colleagues report being patronised, and perhaps on the end of more bullying tactics or conversations than perhaps our male counterparts do?

For me, personally, two #metoo moments spring to mind. Both around 5-8 years. I had a phone conference when I was working at home on a sunny day. The phone call (3 of us, one an immediate colleague and one an older, started with, of course, a chat about the weather. When I said I was working at home he said ‘I’m imagining you in your garden in a bikini’. He thought it was just friendly chitter chatter, but is was so not, so completely inappropriate.

The other instance was an industry awards event, at a London hotel, wine was flowing. This different older, male asked me if I wanted to get a room upstairs. I didn’t. I subsequently found out he had propositioned quite a few women.

Earlier I referred to the interview question. No one called the man out on it. And neither did I in my metoo moments, and it is a source of shame and regret that I didn’t.

Neither of these men were my boss, they couldn’t immediately make me lose my income. But I’m a reasonably successful, confident, woman, and didn’t feel able to pull these men up. There are so many other women who are (or feel) intimidated in work. But I also know of women who have taken cases up and lived to regret it because the consequences have been severe.

Progress? Well maybe the #MeToo movement is a step change. I hope so.

Two years ago on IWD I was at a conference hosted by the Planning Inspectorate. The outgoing, male, Chief Exec said in opening the conference that he was delighted to announce, on IWD, that the new, incoming CEx was a woman. Great. But there was not one woman speaker or panel member scheduled that day. I tweeted about the irony of this on IWD (not that it would have been right on any day), and lo, that afternoon, there was a female panel member. She didn’t have a name plate of course because she was a last minute after-thought.

Women’s visibility, and opportunities to speak are important.

If we aren’t visible on speaking platforms we will perpetuate the idea that women are few and far between, and have nothing worth saying. It shows the younger generation that we are here and have opinions. There has been some progress here, women are represented as speakers at Planning conferences (although still underrepresented, the next National Planning Summit has 34 speakers/ panel members, 11 are women). And Women in Planning are doing great work increasing the visibility of women planners.

 But some women pay a high price for speaking out (generally). They can be shot down, in horribly abusive ways. For daring to suggest that there might be a woman on the £10 note, for being a clever academic on Question Time who has long hair and doesn’t wear make up, or being outspoken about Parliament’s right to vote on Brexit. And the language often used to describe women who speak publicly – shrill, we shriek, whine and whinge. Well doesn’t that trivialise what we have to say? Those words are never used against males. They are authoritative, passionate. Even Boris Johnson’s most laughable performances are bumbling. Compare that to the treatment that Diane Abbott gets over a bad interview.

So whether it is at a planning conference, Question Time or a comedy panel show, women need to have fair representation. We are present, we have things to say, and we will be heard.

By Alice Lester, Head of Planning at London Borough of Brent