Region: INTERNATIONAL

WILD – Women in Leadership Deliver

Love That Design has always been passionate about supporting initiatives that drive development and empowerment within the industry. One such initiative is WILD – Women In Leadership Deliver, that is a platform for all women in Real Estate, Construction and Interiors to come together, network with purpose and collaborate, whilst sharing knowledge and expertise.

Emma Burdett, WILD’s Founder, spoke of a striking realization she had while attending a global women’s platform earlier this year. While the event was well organised and executed, it wasn’t industry specific; and this meant the networking was not productive or effective and lacked synergy amongst delegates. The concept of WILD rose from an untapped opportunity that Emma spotted for developing an industry-specific platform for women to come together and learn from one another. Business perspective aside, individuals from a common industry, collaborating together, creates meaningful conversations and paves the way to spark real change.

WILD - Women in Leadership Deliver

The WILD Mission

“WILD ’s mission is to build a community and a create a sense of belonging for all women – both existing and future leaders. WILD seeks to offer an inclusive platform for all women to be able to voice their challenges, speak their authentic truth and share their experiences, opportunities and best practices,” says Emma. 

The Facts

Research suggests gender initiatives can deliver significant benefit for organizations in myriad ways, and boosting gender diversity can enhance a company’s talent. Research further suggests that increasing the presence and responsibility of women is correlated with improved company performance. There’s a connection between the representation of women in leadership positions and corporate returns. 

WILD - Women in Leadership Deliver

Gender parity is a pressing global issue that needs to be addressed by all. The WILD initiative is geared towards the movement of creating change and closing the gender gap. It feeds into the ecosystem. Emma mentions,”This starts with a conversation. We need to collectively change mindsets and assist in the personal and professional advancement of women. By encouraging women to be the best version of themselves, we all work towards the global mission for a more equal world.” 

Sparking a Conversation

We got the opportunity to be a part of the first ‘WILD Way’ talks – a series of discussions with a smaller but targeted group of women who operate in the same role, within the same sector. Key women in construction came together to discuss opportunities and challenges. The session offered real and invaluable insights. WILD looks at the future with a view that supporting and inspiring women impacts the local community. Change starts from the top down, women leaders empowering other women and becoming role models to pave the way for future generations. 

Hosted by Emma at the A2Z office showroom in Dubai Design District, we were in the company of other prominent, women industry professionals. Elaine O’Connor (Head of Fitout at JLL), Nicola Trivett (VP of Construction at Spencer Interiors), Mariam Halim Kamel (Senior PM at Al Tayer Stocks) and Claire Spring (Business Development Director at INC Group) discussed industry-specific challenges as well as the realities and misconceptions surrounding gender-specific roles. While the numbers indicate that women working in construction are on the rise, they represent only around 10% of construction professionals. A relatively low number considering the scope of the construction industry worldwide. 

Elaine and Mariam, both well-experienced and respected professionals in their own right, narrated incidents where they’ve been tested and forced to work harder in the presence of an all-men team. With this in mind, the wider and more challenging hurdle facing women in construction is to change young people’s perception of the industry as a male-dominated career. All women agreed that a role in construction, as a woman, can be extremely rewarding.

The WILD Ethos and Brand

The Butterfly beautifully represents the WILD Ethos. It speaks of change and joy. Free and WILD, feminine yet strong. Transforming, evolving, creativity and endless potential. The blue represents the throat chakra, which is associated with expression, authentic truth, voice and communication. The WILD roadmap plans to bring together female guest speakers from the region who support the cause and emulate the WILD ethos. Events that would bring women together to evolve and inspire one another. Within every woman lives a WILD woman filled with passion, creativity and knowledge. 

Roadmap Ahead

The next ‘WILD Way’ discussion is planned for August with several key senior designers from design practices, including Gensler, DWP,  AAID, Perkins+Will, Wilson Associates, IRD Design and Kahler Design. The topic is “HARD Talk: Managing those difficult conversations” and is a pre-warmer for a larger event in November. 

In September, WILD will be holding an event at The Executive Centre, designed and built by INC. This will include guest speaker Kim Page, author of ‘The Right Kind of Loud: Finding your communication voice’. Followed by a presentation by Laila al Yousuf who recently set up Say Studio. Laila will discuss her journey working as a designer for a large corporation to the exciting new role of an entrepreneur. 

Later towards the end of the year, in November, WILD has an event planned to include a guest speaker – Dawn Metcalfe, publisher of ‘HardTalk’. Having a more effective difficult conversation. 

The WILD Launch event is being held on the 19th of July at Letsworkdxb, ROVE Hotel, Dubai Marina. For more information contact Emma Burdett: [email protected]

WILD is open to all women who would like to participate, contribute and roar their truth!


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17 July, 2018

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