Brief: BW was aware of the gender “in balance” that existed in the Fit Out sector and wanted to initiate a conversation by understanding what was causing it, what could be done to help improve the situation and how more women could be attracted into the Industry. The initiative needed to be positive, focused on the importance of “balance” and be something that key employers in the industry could align with.
Execution: A series of workshops with women of different ages and seniority from the range of disciplines that make up the Fit Out Industry: Architects, Project Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Office Designers, Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) consultants etc. The workshops, which were run under “Chatham House”, rules set out to: understand the issues, identify potential sources of prejudice and identify ways in which the industry could be promoted in a more positive light. While convectional facilitation processes were used these were complemented by projective techniques to help make the outputs as creative as possible.
Outcome: A different perspective on the causes of the gender “in balance” challenges facing the industry and a series of actions that could be taken to help improve the situation. Combined with the momentum and goodwill engendered by the workshops BW was in an excellent position to lead a campaign and help bring about change in the Fit Out Industry.