The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted and exacerbated long-term inequalities that permeate almost every aspect of life and work. The built environment sector is no different, with a talent pool that isn’t diverse enough at entry level and narrows to a heavily white, male top tier.

Lockdown provided time to reflect; the George Floyd murder and revitalised Black Lives Matter movement provided impetus. This is the moment to put good will into action, address inequality and deliver lasting change.

At this roundtable, a core of invited guests connected senior change drivers with next-wave leaders. In a truly galvanising session, guests shared insight on the work ahead – for all kinds of under-represented groups ­– and offered sector challenges and personal commitments to make equality the ‘new normal’.

Session video

For useful resources & links, visit the Future of London #LearningFromCrisis event page.

Roundtable participants

  • Lisa Taylor – Director, Coherent Cities (session producer, moderator)
  • Kelly Canterford – Programme Manager, Changing the Face of Property
  • Kate Dodsworth – CEO, Gateway Housing & diversity champion
  • Hasanul Hoque – Operations Director, Camden Town Unlimited & Euston Town BIDs, Camden Collective & Alternative Camden Innovation District
  • Anouk Khan – COO, RE:Women
  • Diane Lightfoot – CEO, Business Disability Forum
  • Leona Menville – Director, Customers & Communities, Inquilab; Co-Chair, Unify (BAME) Network
  • Charlotte Morphet – Principal Planner, LB Waltham Forest; Co-Chair, Women in Planning; Chair, POS NOVUS
  • Onyeka Onyekwelu – Strategic Engagement Manager, London Office of Technology & Innovation (LOTI)
  • Jahanara Rajkoomar – Director of Community Investment, Metropolitan Thames Valley; Leadership 2025
  • Marina Robertson – Senior Director, NPS Group
  • Akil & Seth Scafe-Smith – Co-founders, RESOLVE Collective
  • Anita Singh – Programme Manager, Turner & Townsend & Member, GM Future Leaders
  • Neil Smith – Inclusive Design Lead, HS2
  • Vicky Thompson – Director of HR, Montagu Evans
  • Becky Utuka – Director, Development & Sales, Gateway Housing; Leadership 2025

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