The Landscape Institute, alongside partners including CIEEM, Design Council and Institute of Place Management (IPM), will be launching the new networking group for LGBTQ+ members and allies

Image from Fira's 40 Years of Place-Making anniversary book. © Fira/Soda

The Landscape Institute (LI) is planning the launch of #RainbowPlaces, a cross-industry LGBT+ and allies networking group.

#RainbowPlaces will provide a platform for people to have conversations around their experiences, to develop and implement ideas of how to make the industry more inclusive, to raise awareness and visibility, to champion role models and ‘proud’ practices already providing inclusive workplaces, and to lead by example in building a network with LGBT+ professionals and allies across sectors.

Our Aims

  • To form a support and communication network to represent our LGBT+ members and allies.
  • To help practices to improve LGBT+ inclusivity in the workplace.
  • To connect with LGBT+ groups in other disciplines.
  • To find areas within the industry with the potential to improve their approach to diversity.
  • To organise social events linked with LI national or local events or LGBT+ events within other industries.
  • To improve visibility of LGBT+ people within the industry.

Through #RainbowPlaces, the LI – alongside the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), the Institute of Place Management (IPM) and the Design Council will work to engage with LGBT+ professionals and allies working in the landscape, place and environment professions.

Why have we launched #RainbowPlaces?

‘LGBT+ people who feel able to bring their whole selves to work have increased energy, better performance and stronger relationships with their peers. The more you’re forced to be someone else or hide who you are, the more your happiness and performance at work will be affected.’

LGBT in Britain – Work Report, Stonewall 2018

As landscape professionals, we are passionate about people, place and nature and working towards improving the world around us.

But recent associated industry LGBT+ surveys suggest that we may be falling short of creating workplace environments that are inclusive of LGBT+ members in the profession. Through #RainbowPlaces, we want to represent and promote the value of diversity in our membership.

We believe that everyone should feel confident to be themselves at work – whether in a global corporation, on a construction site, in a small rural office, or working overseas. Research into inclusive work businesses shows that they’re often more resilient, as a diverse staff brings a broader spectrum of ideas and approaches that are representative of our society.

Next steps

In the first instance, we want to hear from you, LGBT+ professionals and allies, with your expressions of interest, thoughts and ideas for the group.

We will have a CPD session and informal reception at our LI Human Skills CPD day in Birmingham on Wednesday 9 October. This will provide the first opportunity to get together and discuss how we will run the network, and plans we can make for 2020.

Later in the year we will be carrying out a Landscape, Place and Environmental Industries LGBT+ survey, which will help us understand the current state of the profession regarding LGBT+ inclusivity and inform how best to support individuals and employers.

Please register your interest here for more details and to share your thoughts and ideas as we grow the network.

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