SAICE held the first of its Gender Inclusivity Think Tank events at the Midrand Conference Centre on Friday, 16 November.
The intention of the Think Tank was to begin discussions that would lead to the developing of a guiding code of practice or policy document that addresses Gender Diversity and Inclusivity in the built environment industry. Discussions at this event were intended to centre on the state of industry with regards to its readiness to embrace diversity and inclusivity but instead the conversations at this first session focused more on SAICE’s preparedness, as a learned society, to re-evaluate their membership strategy in an effective way so as to meaningfully contribute to this change of thinking.
The event was well attended by key industry members, representatives and stakeholders, including Consulting Engineers South Africa CEO, Chris Campbell, Aditi Lachman of WomEng, Kamentha Pillay of STEM Moms as well as Millicent Kabwe of the Engineering Council of South Africa. Also represented at the event were representatives from Aurecon, SMEC South Africa, Nako Group, University of the Witwatersrand, Arup, CSV Water, Jones and Wagener and the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. MPA Consulting Engineers was represented by CEO Malani Padayachee–Saman.
Representing SAICE at the event were SAICE 2018 President Errol Kerst, Acting CEO Steven Kaplan, SAICE President Elect Brian Downie as well as members of SAICE’s Executive Board (Allyson Lawless and Bridgette Kerst) and Young Members Panel.
Commenting on the outcomes of this first session SAICE Acting CEO Steven Kaplan said, “This session provided a platform to engage with key members and stakeholders to guide the development of something substantial and useful for SAICE and hopefully all of industry. We are aware this will take a lot more work and sessions like these to achieve our goal. We have received critical feedback and we are reflecting on it to determine a way forward”.