As we celebrate International Women’s Day for 2018, international planning and design company Place Design Group continues their commitment to driving a diverse and equal opportunity workforce, aligning with the 2018 theme #PressForProgress.
General Manager Beth Toon was appointed to the company’s board of directors in 2016, with Non-Executive Director Catherine Gallagher and Company Secretary Emma Vidot joining the board in 2017.
With a strong female representation on the company’s board, Place Design Group’s diversity values are led from the top level of the organisation, creating a culture committed to supporting women in leadership and management roles.
Sue Wang, recently appointed as Design Director to lead the international design team, has been with Place Design Group for 10 years, experiencing first hand the company’s long-standing commitment to diversity.
“We have a team that varies widely in experience, age, ethnicity, background and gender. We employ a 50/50 split of male and female design professionals across our Pan-Asian business and almost exclusively Chinese nationals in our China offices.”
Catherine Gallagher, joining the Place Design Group team in mid-2017 as a non-Executive Director said she felt the diversity culture was embedded in the company’s DNA.
“When I first started with Place Design Group, what struck me was the cultural, gender and age diversity and overwhelming respect for individual talent – there wasn’t a discussion on the topic at the board table, it was something that just wasn’t seen to be any other way, something intrinsic in nature – which is exactly how it should be.”
Ms Gallagher views women’s role in the planning & design industry in the same light.
“It’s important to recognise women in every industry and planning and design is no exception, it’s just part of civilised society that those that make up half the population be represented in the decisions that shape the environments we live in.”
Surrounded by dynamic women who were generous with their time and learnings early on in her career, Ms Gallagher knows the importance of women role models within organisations.
“I was fortunate enough to have a lot of strong role models who were passionate about what they did – it set the tone for my work ethic, aspirations and leadership style. I strive to be inclusive, supportive and generous in the workplace while still being very outcomes driven with high expectations.”
As the first woman appointed to the Place Design Group board, General Manager Beth Toon has been a driving force in paving the way for female leadership, positioning Place Design Group as advisors of choice when it comes to shaping our cities and towns.
“Diversity is a critical component to achieving success, whether at project level, board level or industry level. Ensuring you have teams which offer diverse insights, whether this be through gender, experience, age, culture, or religion, enables solutions to be developed that aren’t necessarily ‘inside the box’. With such rapid change in our cities and towns we have to encourage this diversity of thought and development of outcomes. International Women’s Day is a day that we can embrace to celebrate women and encourage them to step up into this space rather than support from the side”.
Shaun Munday, Managing Director, Place Design Group is proud of the inclusive business culture that has naturally evolved within Place Design Group over the past 17 years.
“Our focus has always been on our people, we are always looking for opportunities to elevate individual talent, which in turn creates successful and thriving teams. Diversity at Place Design Group is something that has been naturally embraced in all aspects of the company and we are proud to represent this value so strongly.”
With teams across Australia, China, and South-East Asia, Place Design Group is an award-winning leader in planning and design with a reputation for creative and commercial solutions.