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21/07/2016

Planning Out - A Q&A with Simon Brooksbank and Rob Krzyszowski

Words:
LGBT

Planning Out is a new professional network for LGBT planners, set to launch on July 28 2016. Co-founders Simon Brooksbank and Rob Krzyszowski told The Planner what it is, what its aims are and why acknowledgement of diversity is good for planning

What is Planning Out?

Simon Brooksbank: Planning Out is an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) network for professionals in the planning sector. We welcome all professionals who are connected to the industry, such as land professionals, transport planners, urban designers, planning lawyers and public affairs consultants.

Rob Krzyszowski: It’s a forum for people from across the industry to develop connections, friendships and networks, with a view to improving collaborative thinking, effective problem solving and decision making through greater sharing of ideas.

Why have you set up the network? Why is it needed?

SB: Great advances have been made in LGBT rights over the past 20 years, but there are still latent issues of acceptance in the workplace and in wider society. Many LGBT also have to wrestle with coming to terms with their own sexual identity, which itself can be a source of great anguish. These factors directly impact on the quality of life of LGBT people and affect their life chances of finding happiness and contentment, which will likely affect their performance in the workplace.

RK: Our aim is to provide a forum to encourage LGBT professionals to be themselves - be authentic in the workplace and in their everyday lives. This will bring out the best in LGBT employees because it will encourage greater self-confidence and acceptance. It will make LGBT workers more productive and effective in the workplace as a result, and in the longer term, it will also encourage LGBT people to consider planning as a career choice. If planning has an enhanced reputation for inclusivity and acceptance, this will widen the pool of talent that planners come from.

What are the aims of the group? What do you hope to achieve?

SB: Planning Out is firstly a forum for professionals in the LGBT community to develop professional connections and friendships, learn best practice and share ideas from colleagues across the industry.

RK: Through attracting a diverse range of high profile speakers from across the industry, who will deliver talks on planning related matters, the network will also be a forum where professionals can develop their knowledge of planning matters and add to their continued professional development.

Who can join the group, and how do they get involved?

RK: We welcome all people regardless of seniority, public or private sector. Members do not have to identify as LGBT, we also welcome allies who are supportive of greater acceptance in the workplace. We also believe it is important that our network has a healthy balance of members that is reflective of the wider LGBT community in terms of gender, bisexual, transgender and ethnicity.

What events/activities have you got coming up?

SB: Join us for our launch event on Thursday 28th July 6pm at Charlotte Building, 17 Gresse Street, W1T 1QL for networking, drinks and speakers, sponsored by Turley.

Speakers will include Stephen McDonald, director of place at the London Borough of Barnet, and Gordon Adams, head of planning at the Battersea Power Station Development Company.

We still have a few places left - please sign up here.

Find out more

To sign up to Planning Out updates email planningoutlgbt@gmail.com

Simon Brooskbank is a graduate planner at Boyer Wokingham. Rob Krzyszowski is planning policy team leader at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

PICTURE CREDIT | ISTOCK

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