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W partner: Foster + Partners

‘Being part of the W programme has been an incredible experience’

At Foster + Partners, a big part of our ethos is a collaborative working environment that provides a support network – both professional and personal – to everyone who works here. Being part of the W partner programme has been an incredible experience. An industry-wide platform for discussion and debate on issues women in architecture face today, it has allowed us to engage more fully with these issues beyond the practice.

We continue to build on our work to create a level playing field for women at the practice. We have set up a new mentoring scheme for young female architects where senior colleagues can share their experiences, while also providing a platform for the younger generation to ask for advice. There is also a new leadership training programme aimed specifically at women partners at the practice.

Our ongoing review of maternity, paternity and parental leave arrangements looks at how we can flexibly accommodate requests over and above our statutory commitments. Internal focus networks through platforms such as Yammer have helped create practice-wide connections to highlight issues related to diversity and women in architecture. We look forward to continuing our partnership with AJ and AR, highlighting wider issues of diversity within the workplace.

Charlotte Sword, head of HR, Foster + Partners