The Diverse Leaders Pledge was born out of a collaboration between a number of organisations NLA got together in response to the murder of George Floyd. Over the years, NLA have done a number of initiatives to champion diversity, but it was clear we weren’t doing enough to implement systemic change across the built environment industry. With our reach to a broad network of public and private members we are well positioned to engage the industry with the pledge’s measurable actions, facilitate discussion on shared issues and best practice and convene cross-sectors of the industry to help create the change that is needed.
It has been a pleasure collaborating with the growing number of co-sponsors of the pledge — developing the pledge actions to be measurable, which help organisations to create quantifiable targets in the recruitment and progression of staff and advocate for diversity of practice and practitioners. We created a list of helpful resources, such as recruitment toolkits, gender bias text checkers, and links to diversity handbooks and research. As well as helping to shape the year-round activity of the Diverse Leaders Programme, which focuses on the built environment’s issues surrounding gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual-orientation, age and socio-economic background.
I have been really encouraged by the industries response to the pledge so far, with the regular conversations I’m having with local authorities, BID’s, architecture practices, property consultants etc who have all signed the pledge with open eyes to the challenges involved, and with a renewed sense of purpose, rigor and accountability in taking the pledge commitments seriously. It is good to remind ourselves that this is not a race to be won but a journey to make, a responsibility that all businesses have, if we are to create industry-wide change.
Grace Simmonds, Programme Manager at New London Architecture
List of Diverse Leaders signatories:
- 5th Studio
- Ben Adams Architects
- Bidwells LLP
- BM3 Architects
- Brighton and Hove City Council
- City of London Corporation
- Fletcher Priest Architects
- Foster + Partners
- John McAslan + Partners
- London Borough of Sutton
- Midtown BID
- UNEK Building Consultants