Virginia Newman, KSR Architects Practice Director and RIBA Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Champion, recently presented to a packed audience at the BEinspired: Stories that push boundaries event.

The event was attended by over 160 people and heard speakers stories about their own experiences of pushing boundaries in their career. These were not just stories about diversity, but also stories of pushing industry limits and achieving higher quality more sustainable places for people.

Organised by the BRE Womens Network, the event also showcased industry womens networks with pecha kucha presentations, including Virginias inspiring and amusing presentation on Women in Architecture and the significance of Women In groups.

The dynamic presentation covered the challenges women face in the world of architecture, especially during the baby years and highlighted the fascinating research findings by Virginia on when and why women leave architecture. It concluded with the work that Virginia, with Women In Architecture and RIBA, have done to reduce the dramatic drop of women leaving the profession by addressing the full lifetime career. This included providing role models, mentoring and the business case for retaining women.

Other inspirational speakers included Victoria Hills, Chief Executive Officer at Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation; Charlotte Wilberforce, Partner at Martha Schwartz Partners; Hayley Gryc, Senior Structural Engineer at Arup; Charlotte Morphet, Women in Planning; Emma Nicholson, Women in Sustainable Construction and Property; Jackie Richards, Women in the Built Environment and Benita Mehra, Womens Engineering Society.

Virginia comments, It was a highly stimulating evening in the presence of many extraordinary women.