International Women's Day is a time where we celebrate the achievements of women and acknowledge the steps taken towards equality - not that we think just a day is enough to honour the achievements of women everywhere.
To mark International Women's Day we're sharing what this year's theme, Press for Progress, meant to our team.
Tamsin McLean - Director of Capability "Taking proactive steps to make change happen for women to experience equality. I spend so much of time thinking about women within the Design and Construct industries as part of my job, that on this day I consider women who live in other parts of the world who do not have access to education etc. I usually research and then participate in fundraising around that day to contribute to those who really need help. I research charities that appear to be teaching women how to fish. It is also my annual date for identifying mentoring opportunities, as I have now reached a stage in my career where I have some experience to offer. I usually participate in an HR mentoring program, but this year I am looking for a mentee who is no in that functional area."
Deb Robbins - Studio Director "What I like about this year’s campaign #PressforProgress is the call to THINK and ACT on those unconscious biases women face every day. It asks us to do this in a positive way, by celebrating achievements, questioning omissions and challenging assumptions - so collectively we can work towards keeping gender equity at the forefront of our minds – honing our gender equity mindsets!"
Duyen Nguyen - Senior Landscape Architect "I’m at a stage in life where I need to consider whether I choose to have children. I also love being a landscape architect. Career or family? Female empowerment tells me that if I want, I can have both. I look around our industry for role models and precedence, and wonder where so many of the women in leadership before me have gone. This is a call for action. Let’s celebrate the Landscape Architects who have children and are kicking arse in our industry. AND LET’S LEARN FROM THEM. We are the next generation and at the forefront of the future of Feminism. If we do not break this wave, where will we fellow female landscape architects, find ourselves in 10 years time? Can we be the role models for the next generation? Let’s open up this dialogue – let’s Press for Progress.
Timothy D'Agostino - Landscape Architect "I feel international women’s day isn’t just up to women to be advocates and speak out on equality, it’s up to everyone, men included. Men can be advocates for equity in the workplace and support their female colleagues in being respected and calling out misogyny when they witness it – or just talking about it in conversation – especially when it’s only guys in the conversation."
Chloe Street - Graduate Landscape Architect “The industry has a long way to go with gender equality, I’m still staggered by how underrepresented women are. But what is not lacking from those small number of women in our industry is their skills, expertise and passion. #PressforProgress is having our voices compete and excel in an overtly masculine environment, offering up sage advice and wisdom, and being taken as seriously as anybody - and everybody - else in the room.”
Azin Emampour - Architectural Designer "For this year’s campaign the big part of my heart is with Iranian women which at a great personal risk have been removing their headscarves in public to protest against Iran's mandatory headscarf law — part of an Islamic dress code that was enforced after the 1979 revolution. The struggle is not about a piece of cloth on a woman’s head, religion or politic views, it is about the gender politics that cloth symbolizes, and its use to silently and broadly communicate a rejection of state control over women’s bodies. It is a movement that celebrates women’s freedom."
Kate Luckraft - Studio Director "In the last 20 years I have seen huge change in our profession, with higher numbers of women in leadership positions as clients, colleagues and allied professionals. This change encourages me to continue to work towards more equitable workplaces, where men feel empowered to participate in raising their children or caring for family. I am also driven by the ambition to raise my sons as feminists who consider equity to be normal. This year’s campaign is a timely reminder to continue to work hard for change, as it does not happen by itself, but through the combined efforts of many."
Vivi Xie - Associate Business Director "We all need to call out and stand-up to inequality. We are seeing just how powerful and dynamic women are as leaders within a variety of industries. We’re getting respect and recognition but we’re still not yet equal to our male counterparts. #PressforProgress is about letting out voices be heard. It is having the right to respect and equality – both in the workplace and outside of it."
Joshua Gowers - Graduate Landscape Architect "Press for Progress is a call to act, inspiring a consistent and unfaltering pressure of movement towards the goal of equality for women in its various facets. This is a challenge for all women and all men – for every member of our communities to be conscious of our inherent individual and societal biases."