IWD: Women's built environment networks

Published on: 5 Jun 2018

Networking [square]Here's The Planner's guide to networks, groups and initiatives aimed at women working in the built environment.

With increasing numbers of women entering planning and the other built environment*  professions, the number of professional networking groups dedicated to supporting women with their careers is flourishing. Below are just a few (arranged in alphabetical order). We're sure we've missed plenty - so if you'd like to suggest a group, network or initiative that's not on the list, please email us at editorial@theplanner.co.uk or tweet us at @ThePlanner_RTPI

Built by Both

Launched by (male and female) graduates of housebuilder Barratt Developer's ASPIRE programme, Built by Both aims to "inspire young women to embark on careers within the built environment and show credit to those already working in our industry". the network is open to women across the built environment.

Read more about Built by Both

BRE Women's Network

Though run by BRE Group, the Women's Network is open to all women working in the built environment. BRE is the organisation behind the BREEAM ratings and describes itself as an "independent and impartial, research-based advisory, testing and training organisation, offering expertise in every aspect of the built environment and associated industries"

Read more about the BRE Women's Network

Chicks with Bricks

As its name suggests, Chicks with Bricks is aimed at women in the construction industry. Running for 10 years, it holds regular events, talks and debates, with high profile speakers - attended by both men and women.

Visit the Chicks with Bricks website

Nawic (National Association of Women in Construction)

Another network for women working in construction, Nawic is well-established and has an international presence. It organises events, campaigns for the industry and collaborates with other organisations on everything from mentoring schemes to training. The organisation's aim is to drive a "shift of focus from gender to ability".

Read more about Nawic


Founded by a planner, Liane Hartley, Urbanistas is a growing network devoted to "amplifying the voices of women to make cities better for everyone". The group doesn't do networking per se, but prefers to take a dynamic approach to developing, debating and realising ideas. Urbanistas has 'chapters' across England, and in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Sydney, with chapters recently started in Birmingham, Brighton and Edinburgh.

Visit the Urbanistas website

Women in the Built Environment

An active network based in the East of England, WiBE focuses on mentoring, career development and workplace skills and technical knowledge.

Visit the Women in the Built Environment website

Women in Property

Women in Property is a nationwide organisation working towards equal representation for women in the property industry. Open to women from all property disciplines, from engineering to planning, it hols evnets, runs mentoring schemes and campaigns for women to be heard.

Visit the Women in Property website

Women in Planning

Founded by, and aimed at, planners, Women in Planning is an "informal professional network" that delivers events throughout London and works to increase the profile of women working in the planning profession.

Visit the Women in Planning website

"2015 marked a historic milestone with three woman presidents across Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Royal Town Planning Institute at the same time for the first time. This presented an opportunity for us to host the presidents and discuss and debate the state of play for women across the related professions."

Read Women in Planning founder Alison Mackay's account of the founding and development of Women in Planning

Women in Sustainable Construction and Property

WSCP is a networking group with an agenda to combat climate change, share information on environmental issues in construction and property and to promote equality at work.

Visit the WSCP website or connect with the group on LinkedIn

Women in Transport

Women in Transport has grown our of 2014's 100 Years of Women in Transport campaign to become an organisation in its own right. Supported by Transport for London, the Department for Transport and Network Rail among others,  WiT's aim is to "inspire current and future generations of transport workers" - including planners.

Read about Women in Transport

WTS International

A network for women working in the transport industry (WTS stands for Women's Transport Seminar), WTS is a US organisation that has been in Europe since 2005. The London branch runs networking events, site visits and career development workshops - and it's connected with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for women in transport.

Visit the WTS International - London chapter web page

* By "built environment", we mean anything associated with property, including planning, surveying, architecture, construction, even buying and selling.

Image credit / iStock