Moda and Part W join forces to drive gender equality

Moda Living has joined forces with Part W to drive gender equality in the property industry.

Zoë Berman, Founder, Part W - gender equality drive with Moda Living | BTR News
Zoë Berman, Founder, Part W. Photo credit: © RÅN studio.

Moda – who have over £1bn of construction on site across the UK, a growing pipeline of over 8,000 homes from Edinburgh to Brighton, a 40% female workforce, and The Lexington in Liverpool and Springside in Edinburgh who will have female GMs – have joined forces with Part W to drive gender equality in the property industry. The partnership is on a mission to encourage the next generation of ambitious young women to choose the property, design and construction sector for their long-term careers.  

Part W is an action group of engaged and proactive women working in architecture and design, planning, engineering, policy, infrastructure, construction, operations and sustainability. The group is campaigning for gender parity across the built environment. Part W has previously been featured on BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour, The Observer, Dezeen and in The Architects’ Journal.  

Part W was founded in 2018 by architect Zoë Berman – and the intergenerational collective is formed of women from diverse backgrounds who are working together to call time on gender inequality, in all its forms, in our built environment.  

“Together, Part W and Moda share an aspiration to see more built projects being instigated, planned and delivered by women. We are impatient for equality, and our work includes us calling out instances of gender discrimination in an industry that routinely excludes – alongside developing positive and proactive solutions that can support bringing about change. We are pushing for intersectional thinking and are developing a series of actions intended to support women from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, across generations and with different experiences.”

Zoë Berman, Founder, Part W

The group is Co-Chaired by architect Alice Brownfield. Core members include Dr. Harriet Harriss, Hilary Satchwell, Kelly Clark, Sarah Castle, Sarah Wigglesworth, Yẹmí Àlàdérun, Sarah Ackland, Nadine Adamski, Christine Murray and Fiona MacDonald – who work in the areas of architecture, design education, planning, place making, project management and sustainable transport. It’s supported by volunteers and professional friends, and most recently Lydia Eustace, Director at Moda Living.  

Park W and Moda call for action across the built environment sector to address the systemic gender equity challenges that exist in the sphere and ask others to join them in supporting Part W and other organisations who are working to shift the dial in favour of a more inclusive industry – so it can be changed for future generations of young women. 

“The Moda team is passionate about the role our female colleagues play in the success of the business, and 40% of the Moda workforce are women, a figure we intend to keep growing. However, we recognise that there is still a long way to go in our business, and the sector more widely, before women are headhunted for senior leadership roles in high profile corporations.   

“We believe that the solution is education, and we are so excited to be working with Part W in driving an educational outreach programme targeting young people. There are not enough females looking to build careers in the property space currently, and to keep gender equality at the forefront requires a continued effort in changing this.

“It is our duty to empower the next generation of female leaders with the exciting opportunities that can be seized within this sector, and in Build to Rent specifically, acknowledgement of the meaningful impact women can make to the way that residential neighbourhoods are created and operated.”       

Lydia Eustace, Director, Moda Living

The partnership launched on International Women’s Day 2021 with a bold, engaging mini film outlining the spectrum of careers across the built environment sector, accessible for 16 to 24 year-olds across social media channels including Twitter, Instagram and TikTok – as well as being shared amongst student influencers and disseminated to design colleges, schools, colleges and universities.   

Phase two of the programme

Phase two of the outreach programme will include digital Q&A sessions spanning the UK with leading representatives from across the property, design and construction sectors – covering (but not limited to) construction, design, architecture, planning and operations. 

Successful female and males contributors will be speaking about their own career highs and lows, as well as sharing lessons learnt and answering questions from the audience – with a focus on positive equality and diversity in the industry. There will also be an opportunity to promote jobs and apprenticeships and make a next generation of diverse young people feel welcome in the industry.   

“We are excited to launch this project – our first formal step in UK-wide educational outreach work this year. It will make a significant contribution to supporting young women to create a future role in the built environment and property sectors. We want to see more women joining the sector in the future, and this first project, supported by Moda, will help us to engage with and support young people’s learning. We are a volunteer-led group, and Moda’s sponsorship is invaluable in helping us to take this vital step.”

Zoë Berman, Founder, Part W