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Investing in women: RTPI (re)launches Inclusive Employer Framework

Machel Bogues, Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Manager at the RTPI

Women’s History Month began on March 1, providing time to focus on the challenges and issues that women still face in their professional lives and beyond. The UN theme for the year is Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.

This is a theme that fits well with our vision, “to be, and promote the planning profession to be, as diverse as the communities it represents, to act inclusively, treating everyone fairly and seeking to provide a culture which delivers the best outcomes for the diverse society in which and for whom we work.”

Our vision is underpinned by our firm belief that to create equitable, prosperous places and healthy sustainable communities, we will need a diverse, representative, and inclusive profession. 

To enable the profession to evolve and meet challenges as they emerge, we will need to invest, and re-invest in our members. This investment is not just about career progression and helping our members to be successful it is also an investment in the skills and knowledge of planners equipping them for the changing world and an investment in and with the organisations that employ planners.

The UN has made the point that one of the biggest barriers to gender equality is a lack of investment or more pertinently under investment. To try to address this, we have made the framework free to take part in.

Throughout the year, working with our partner institutes and networks, we will be launching/delivering a range of initiatives to support our members in developing their skills and supporting career progression. Today, we are pleased to (re)launch our new and improved Inclusive Employer Framework.

Built on our CHANGE principles of Collaborate, Holistic Approach, Attracting and Retaining talent, Needs Based, Good governance and Educate the framework provides a platform from which we can work with employers to create and maintain inclusive workplaces; spaces and cultures that eliminate discrimination, bullying harassment and encourages and empowers staff to express themselves and their identity at work including but not limited to:

  • Developing and implementing an inclusive recruitment process.
  • Provides safe and appropriate spaces for parents to feed children or express milk.
  • Create a menopause-inclusive workplace through policies and support mechanisms.
  • Adopt best practices in terms of maternity and paternity pay.
  • Celebrates Afro-textured hair worn in all styles including, but not limited to, afros, locs, twists, braids, cornrows, fades, hair straightened through the application of heat or chemicals, weaves, wigs, headscarves, and wraps.
  • Celebrates religious practice(s) at work by providing safe spaces and places to worship and support and welcomes religious dress.

In launching the scheme, we have tried to simplify how it works both in terms of signing up (you can now sign up directly through the website) and making it more clear how it supports continuous improvement. 

Accordingly, the scheme now boasts a methodology of external review and continuous progression.

External review

Applications are reviewed by the EDI team here at the RTPI and we will then work with you on the best ways to bring the framework to life in your organisation. Whether that be tweaking policies, or processes we will work with you to strike a balance between the resources that you have and any changes you want to make.  

Continuous progression

The Framework has three levels for institutions and individual departments: Inclusive Practitioner (Orange), Inclusive Champion (Green), and Inclusive Leader (Purple). Institution participants are encouraged to work through the three levels. The speed of progression through the framework will depend on how quickly any agreed actions and outcomes have been completed.

You can learn more about the framework and sign up by clicking here.

The UN has made the point that one of the biggest barriers to gender equality is a lack of investment or more pertinently under investment. To try to address this, we have made the framework free to take part in.

CHANGEing the profession will require all of us to work together by signing up to the framework you can join us as we accelerate our progress to a more inclusive profession.


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