Cities thrive when led by the diverse insights of their communities, yet the building and infrastructure sector is a notoriously white and male-dominated field. Together developers, planners, policymakers, professional services consultants, and civic organizations shape the fabric of cities, but they often dismiss the important conversations on gender, race, and other identities. When examining the diversity gap in the city building industry the World Economic Forum reported the following:
With only 16% of the infrastructure and city building sector composed of women, it ranks below healthcare, education, and finance sectors
The wage gap is larger than other comparable sectors
Wanting to further explore questions of gender and diversity in the city building industry, GATE along with the University of Toronto School of Cities, co-hosted the second event in the popular Feminist City series. Urban leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors were invited to partake in a panel conversation. The discussion touched upon the need to close the diversity gap.
“I am looking in the mirror and seeing myself and when I look into the mirror of the industry, it is not reflective of the city.”
– Abigail Moriah
Also discussed, was the significant role that mentorship and sponsorship play in bringing women into the industry and opening leadership opportunities.
This discussion featured Taya Cook, Development Director, Urban Capital Property Group; Shirley Hoy, Senior Advisor, StrategyCorp; former City Manager for the City of Toronto; Abigail Moriah, Co-Founder, The Mentoring Initiative for Indigenous and Planners of Colour | The Black Planning Project; and was moderated by Matti Siemiatycki, Director and Professor, School of Cities, University of Toronto; with opening remarks by Sarah Kaplan, Director and Professor – Institute for Gender and the Economy, Rotman School of Management.
IN THE FOLLOWING VIDEOS, PANELISTS DISCUSS THE WAYS IN WHICH WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLES ARE RESHAPING INDUSTRY PRACTICES AND PROJECT OUTCOMES: