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Planning profession benefits from women’s voices, Scottish Young Planners event hears

09 March 2017

IWD Scottish Parli Young Planners EventA special RTPI Scotland Young Planner’s Network event raised the profile and voice of women in the built environment last night. Five prominent women (pictured, right) from across the built environment met in the Scottish Parliament to discuss how they can empower, support and bring women together in the industry to deliver better places for everyone.

Host of the event, Scottish Labour MSP and RTPI member Monica Lennon said:

“I was delighted to host the Scottish Young Planners Network in Parliament on International Women’s Day to celebrate the achievements of so many amazing women in the planning and construction industry.

“As a town planner and proud feminist, it was a joy to be able to celebrate my first International Women’s Day as an MSP with other young women in the planning sector and I was inspired by the different experiences from the panel about how they have succeeded in their careers.”

Nicola Barclay, Chief Executive of Homes for Scotland provided insight into her career, she said:

“The event was a wonderful opportunity for female planners to come together, learn from each other and find out more about how to overcome the challenges that face us at different stages of our careers. It also provided the important opportunity to step back and reflect on how far women have come in the profession, and how much further we can still go, if we set our minds to it.”

Dr Kate Sang, Associate Professor of Management at Heriot Watt University, talked about how our world would look if designed by women and minority groups and explored issues of intersectionality. She said:

“I was hugely honoured to be asked to speak at the Scottish Young Planners’ International Women’s Day event at the Scottish Parliament. International Women’s Day is always one of my favourite days of the year, with the chance to speak to women (and a few supportive men!) about the challenges women face, but also to hear from successful women and inspire moves towards gender equality. The SYP event was very welcoming and I enjoyed all the women’s talks. I was also pleased to be able to share my own research on women’s workplace experiences, but also to share the concept of intersectionality as a way forward to a built environment with social justice at its heart. I hope to be part of future discussions about what planning might look like with more women in charge!”

Laura Fleming, Director of Development at Gamesa Wind UK, said:

“The event was a great success and shone a light on the great contribution women make to the built environment but also that much more needs to be done and as such events like IWD are important to raise the importance of the cause.  Thanks to Monica Lennon MSP for hosting the event.”

Kathie Pollard, Founder, Urbanistas Edinburgh said:

“Urbanistas is a unique collaborative, supportive network for people who are passionate about “place”. It’s committed to making women’s voices and ideas heard in planning and the wider built environment. This event was unique in that it perfectly combined our passion for planning and our role as women with the sector. This fits with the Urbanistas agenda - it’s about empowering, supporting and bringing together like-minded people in the built environment”.

The event formed a part of the RTPI’s celebration of International Women’s Day held annually on 8 March.

Get involved: RTPI Scottish Young Planners