Announcements, Press Releases 09.27.2022

Our London studio strengthens its commitment to DE&I with Hive Learning partnership

The London studio of architecture and design firm Perkins&Will is the first architectural firm to partner with digital peer learning platform, Hive Learning, to pilot their award-winning ‘Inclusion Works’ programme, which is designed to help people embed inclusive behaviours as daily routine. This comes as part of Perkins&Will’s long-term commitment to create a fully inclusive culture by driving long-lasting behaviour change.

Using a combination of network science and nudge theory, Hive Learning delivers large-scale, strategic behaviour change programmes. People learn in groups or ‘cohorts’ to create a shared understanding of what ‘good’ looks like and make people accountable to one another. Learners are drip-fed, bite-sized, practical and actionable content (including guides for offline, group sessions) on critical topics with interactive polls, quizzes, videos, which help to break down complex topics into simple actions.

The London Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion (DE&I) Group at Perkins&Will was set up in 2015, now led by Jackie Ferguson. This team works with the staff to support and embrace equality, diversity and inclusion within the office, and the wider industry. As part of this effort to educate and promote DE&I, they coordinate a year-round campaign of communications, resource sharing, and Awareness Day events.

Highlights over the past few years include Perkins&Will becoming a member of the RIBA Architecture Ambassadors School Programme, and the Generation Architect (Student Placement Pilot Programme).

In 2021 the group relaunched the studio’s DE&I Policy, and in 2022 Jackie took on a dedicated role as DE&I Champion to drive forward this policy. She said:

“Our DE&I team has built strong foundations over the past seven years, but we recognize that there is still a long way to go in creating a truly diverse workforce. Participating in Inclusion Works enables staff to learn, unlearn, and relearn about topics which are complex, and often difficult to discuss. We don’t want our efforts to just be one-off, tick box exercises; we want genuine actionable change with ongoing conversations and celebrate the right behaviours. This solution has helped us to begin that journey.”

The DE&I team wanted to effectively build awareness, embrace cultural diversity, and provide training to equip London staff with the tools and knowledge to start meaningful, and barrier free discussions within the studio. They worked with Hive Learning to tailor the ‘Inclusion Works’ programme, creating a bespoke learning experience around the specific skills and behaviours they wanted to embed across the studio mapped to the company strategy.

The Inclusion Works programme ran over the course of four months over Winter 2021/ Spring 2022. Although participation was not mandatory, 89% of staff registered on the platform. This generated 3,774 page views, 649 poll and quiz interactions, and 256 reactions, totaling 4,752 interactions across the platform.

Colin Campbell, Operations Director of the London Studio, said
“We want to weave DE&I into the fabric of our everyday practices. This will help us to embrace diversity within our studio and create innovative designs that reflect the needs of the changing world and the diverse communities we serve.”

As part of the Perkins&Will London studio’s efforts to integrate their learnings into the fabric of their culture, from Q4 2022 the DE&I team will be leading an exploration into the Employee Life Cycle, looking at talent attraction, retention, and promotion through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.