Chapman Taylor Talks: Embrace Equity

The theme of International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘embrace equity’ - an invitation to acknowledge that we don’t all start from the same place and to recognise the need to adjust. We invited Georgie Manly, retail customer propositions director at Landsec in the UK, to chair a roundtable discussion with women who work throughout our global network of studios*, to listen, and to generate future discussions with regard to culture and embedding equity into the fabric of what we do at Chapman Taylor.

The full write-up of the discussion is available to read here.

Georgie kicked off the discussion by emphasising how important it is to continue to collaborate with our partners and to be really transparent about the challenges that we all face and what we are trying to do to make change. In her words, “We know this isn't a quick fix, but we need to continue to learn and work from one another and share experiences as well.”

The group started by discussing some of the positives that women can bring to architecture and interior design, which then led to a debate around stereotypes.

Many interesting points were raised concerning pregnancy, motherhood and career breaks. The group all agreed on the importance of women in leadership.

"I think getting more women and people from diverse backgrounds into management positions will help everyone.”

The discussion wrapped up with some of the advice that they would give their younger selves.

Georgie concluded by saying that it’s important for us to acknowledge the various cultural stereotypes that exist - we have to continue to break those stereotypes to truly achieve real balance and equality. We must continue to pave the way for more women to step into leadership positions. It’s also important to have these open conversations about family responsibilities and maternal leave. The conversations need to continue.

Tim Partington, group board director at Chapman Taylor, agrees. He says, “At Chapman Taylor, we are determined to keep listening to women’s voices in our business, this International Women’s Day and beyond. This roundtable has highlighted the importance of inclusive policies and encouraging more women into management positions. This is absolutely something we are committed to, to reflect the talent we have in the business.”

Since the roundtable, a global Chapman Taylor women’s network has been proposed, to continue to champion women’s voices and drive an inclusive agenda.

*From Chapman Taylor, the attendees were Rebecca Ridge (associate director, Bristol), Anja Haubold (associate director, Bristol), Martina Petrosino (architect, Brussels), Alejandra Torres Amezcua (design manager, Dubai), Calina-Elena Griguta (project architect, Dusseldorf), Sapna Kumar (director, India), Edyta Sipta (head of graphics, London), Marcelina Zielinska (director, London), Kristina Madirazza (associate director, London), Natalia Morado (architect, Madrid), Mariana Bernar (interior designer, Madrid), Hemelina Hadzic (architect, Prague), Yichun Xu (associate director, Shanghai) and Enran Zhang (architect, Shanghai).

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