Through a dozen in-depth interviews of urban planning professionals in Brisbane, Australia, this study examines the relationship between the experience of women in the planning profession and the consideration of women’s issues in the city. The study reveals that Brisbane’s planning industry continues to be perceived by those who work within it as an ‘old-boys-club’. Planning practitioners are acquiring gender biases during their university education and possibly earlier – much before planning graduates enter the profession. Although the planning industry is adopting more inclusive leadership and management approaches and becoming more feminised, patriarchal relationships remain strong. Brisbane’s neoliberal planning and governance systems, and conservative business sector encourages and rewards ‘male’ behaviours in the workplace. The findings mostly corroborate earlier studies on gender issues in organisations. In the planning sector, gender issues are more concerning because they affect planning outcomes across the city, as well as the lived experiences and needs of women and other vulnerable groups.
Title: Gender bias in the planning industry and planning outcomes
Authors: Ishara Sahama, Stephanie Wyeth, and Dorina Pojani
Journal: Australian Planner