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Women in Planning at The Design Council

March 24, 2014

Somewhat unusually, for Women in Planning, last week’s event at the Design Council had none of the free flowing wine we have come to expect. Chablis was replaced with coffee and Tempranillo with tea and rather refreshingly, no one seemed to mind. Its testament, I’m sure, to the good company and inspirational speakers who showed up.

Kathy MacEwen, set the tone of the evening by speaking about her planning career and her experiences in a male dominated profession. Next came Erica Mortimer, the Managing Director of CgMs, who helped to set up the (now very large) company some fifteen years ago. At no point was there a feeling of resentment toward the difficulties that women can face in a highly male orientated environment. Instead, there was acknowledgment of success and the subsequent encouragement that every single woman in the room could follow suit.

Seema Manchanda, the last of the speakers, commented on the need for women to be assertive. She held our interest with tales of strong-minded planning decisions that she’d made and stuck to during her career, despite often being contested by a male majority.

Seema also drew attention to the tendency many women have of asking to say something, before they say it. Something, I have to confess, I’ve done before. Seema delivered a simple but strong message: be loud and proud ladies, because confidence is key.

Another great event by Women in Planning, which left us with an almighty sense of girl power.

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