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Planning Out – a new network for LGBT+ planners

Our new LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) professional planning network, ʻPlanning Outʼ, was officially launched on Thursday 28th July. The event, kindly hosted by Turley, was a sell out with over 70 people attending with a mix of delegates from town planners, planning lawyers, urban designers and public affairs professionals, from the public, private, voluntary and academic sectors.

The keynote speakers at the event - Stephen McDonald, Director of Place, Re/London Borough of Barnet, and Gordon Adams, Head of Planning, Battersea Power Station Development Company - spoke about their experience of being out in the workplace.

Why the need for ‘Planning Out’?

Planning Out is about winning hearts and minds in the ʻsecond waveʼ of LGBT+ rights where gay people can lead their lives in the workplace and wider society with the same level of acceptance and dignity that straight people enjoy. Despite huge advances over the past 20 years, thereʼs still lots of room for improvement.

Research shows that a diverse and inclusive workplace is a more productive one. Employees who can bring 100 per cent of themselves into the workplace are more likely to build up trust and good working relationships with colleagues, clients and stakeholders than would otherwise be the case. There’s not just a social and ethical case, but an economic one as well.

Research shows that a diverse and inclusive workplace is a more productive one. ...There’s not just a social and ethical case, but an economic one as well.

Planning Out will partner with companies and professionals across the planning sector to foster an environment where gay people can be themselves, so we can better bring our individual skills and perspectives to the workplace. This will lead to an environment of greater respect, trust, collaborative thinking and productivity - which wonʼt just benefit gay people, but will benefit all across the planning sector.

Planning Out events will feature speakers from across the profession to show that being LGBT+ need not be a professional barrier. Planning Out also provides great networking opportunities and a support network to show that LGBT+ planners in the workplace are certainly not alone. We also hope to have a bit of fun along the way too.

What’s next? How do I get involved?

Planning Out is open to anyone supportive of the cause – not just those who identify themselves as LGBT+! Anyone passionate about equality and diversity is very welcome. We are thankful for the significant support already received from the RTPI, The Planner magazine, Future of London, Stonewall and Women in Planning. We’re always on the look out for speakers or sponsors so do get in touch if you would like to support.

Watch this space for announcements for our next event! Follow us on twitter @planningout as well as Facebook ’Planning Out’, LinkedIn ‘Planning Out’ and Eventbrite for updates, or subscribe to the mailing list by emailing [email protected].

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