PRESS, 13th Oct 2016 – Please re-post!
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Future of London, supported by the Mayor of London, has launched a pan-London pledge to help development & infrastructure better reflect London’s diversity
“London’s diversity is its biggest asset”, according to the GLA, offering a competitive edge internationally and among industry peers. New voices can also bring fresh ideas, critical in difficult times like this.
That’s the thinking behind a new speaker diversity pledge launched by Future of London, sparked and supported by the Mayor of London. Many decisions on housing, regeneration, transport and more are still led by traditional voices, but the Mayor “wants every single Londoner to have the chance to thrive” and plans to lead by example.
Deputy Mayor for Housing James Murray was the first signatory, launching the initiative on 24th August at City Hall as part of FoL’s all-network meet-up, a celebration and update for 200 guests from our member, partner and broader network, including mentors, alumni and our growing speaker diversity network.
“James Murray’s own speech request form says he cannot speak on panels without at least one woman participating,” said Future of London director Lisa Taylor. “That sort of assertion is a huge step forward, but we can’t stop with gender – London is made up of an intricate mosaic of people, and we want to bring more of that energy and representation to the table.”
The pledge is made by organisations and individuals, and asks signatories to sign up to at least two of the following:
- Hold public-facing events which include under-represented demographic groups (by gender, ethnicity, ability, age, etc.) as speakers
- Put forward speakers from under-represented groups to represent our organisation, including at senior levels and across disciplines
- Encourage organisations I work with to host diverse events
- Avoid participating in sessions which feature only one demographic group
- As a speaker/chair, join the Future of London Diversity Speakers’ Network, to help increase the pool of voices
The initiative’s informal steering group includes GLA Housing & Land Assistant Director Jamie Ratcliff, who proposed the idea and invited Future of London to lead it; Thames Valley Housing Chief Executive Geeta Nanda, who’s offered initial support; Rob Krzyszowski, Planning Policy Team Lead at RB Kensington & Chelsea and co-founder of PlanningOut; FoL’s Lisa Taylor and Leaders Coordinator Sabrina Belle, and Gerry Hughes, Chief Executive at Bilfinger GVA, a Future of London core sponsors.
Hughes is the initiative’s private-sector champion, and feels strongly about the issue. “Bilfinger GVA is proud to be a signatory on this London-wide Speaker Diversity Pledge,” he says. “In an industry such as ours, there is still a long way to go where diversity is concerned, but through strong leadership and commitment, we are determined to make a profound difference, and in so doing, lead our industry forward.”
To support this game-changing initiative or for any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 24th August event was also Future of London’s first annual all-network meet-up; an update on FoL’s direction will follow shortly. The evening was hosted by the GLA, and co-sponsored by Rydon Construction and Hadley Property Group. A short video on the event is here. To find out more, get in touch!
Top 8 photos and video: Nando Machado photography. Bottom 4 photos: Jamie Ratcliff. With thanks and congratulations to the Creative Diversity Network, whose clear, flexible pledge is helping to increase diversity in the UK production industry.
Video clips from: Lisa Taylor, Chief Executive, Future of London; David Lunts, Executive Director, Housing & Land, GLA; Katharine Hibbert, Founder & Director, Dot Dot Dot; Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director, Programme, Policy and Services, GLA Housing & Land.
(Click thumbnail to view).