Op-Ed: Inclusivity, Empathy, Collaboration: key skills that women reinforce in the workplace, and that are essential for the work we do at Populo

Posted 08 March 2023

On International Women's Day, Fiona Shankland (Populo’s Head of Design), writes about the roles women play at Populo in creating great homes and places in Newham:

Reducing gender bias in how we design and deliver our projects is important. This is particularly true for the streets and places that make up the urban environment, where not considering female safety can limit women’s activities and choices. Adopting a more inclusive approach with a greater representation of women to champion female needs and experiences will help drive more balanced decision making. This in turn will allow us to create places that prioritise women’s safety, improving access to Newham’s public spaces and supporting enhanced mental and physical well-being.

I believe women can also nurture an empathetic approach that puts listening, understanding, and interpreting the needs of all Newham’s residents at the heart of what we do. Empathising with our residents is key to engender trust. Understanding their needs and making decisions that empower them in their lives demonstrates a commitment to improving people’s lives, ensuring places and homes that look great, as well as making people feel good individually and collectively.

Research has shown women’s strengths at reading behaviours and nurturing team dynamics. This encourages a more balanced participation amongst all team members and makes the most of collective knowledge and skills. Enhanced collaboration also promotes problem-solving and innovation. This is critical to build future homes that respond to a world rapidly changing in response to factors such as the climate crisis and the increasing influence of technology and digitisation.

By embracing inclusivity, empathising with people’s needs, and driving a culture of collaboration Populo can deliver homes and places that many can live a happy and healthy life in for years to come.

Follow Fiona on Linkedin here.

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