To be a truly diverse and inclusive profession then not only do we have to make sure that we create as many accessible routes for talent to enter the profession as possible but also that we support that talent and make sure that we create an environment and culture for everyone to thrive. We know from research that despite great strides having been made in gender balance across the profession women remain underrepresented at senior levels. For example a 2020 survey undertaken by Women in Planning of 379 planning consultancies found that 17% of Chief Executives and Directors were women.
Whilst we do not, yet, have a clear picture in terms of planners from planners of Black African, Caribbean and East or South Asian heritage, feedback from members is that it is a similar situation.
The profession should be actively looking to do better. Leadership and culture is a key strand of the CHANGE action plan and a mentoring programme, NURTURE has recently been launched.