Happy IWD 2022!  As many of you know today marks the day that we celebrate women's achievements, using this day to amplify these and encourage others to feel empowered. This is something I've always strived to do -  be present and use my platform and voice to empower others to accomplish all that they wish to do.

This year we are encouraged to #breakthebias and as we emerge into a post Covid world it has never been more important to recognise the value we can all bring to the workplace and society as a whole.

We have seen many reports of diversity in the work place, yesterday it was reported that those organisations with female leaders outperform those with a purely male board 

Surely having leaders which represent all views is a strong and powerful message - yet this is still an uncommon situation.

The development sector is a mixed bag of achievements. This year we have seen the appointment of Jenny Daly at Taylor Wimpey and four female barristers made silk – an unprecedented number, but there is still more to do.

It is with this in mind, that we celebrate all that is good in planning with the 2022 Women of Influence list.

I have been part of this process as a judge and it has been incredible to see not only the scale of nominations, but to read the narratives behind each nomination was wonderfully uplifting.

The list in my opinion is one that is diverse in both private and public sector together with one that incorporates every area of the UK.

2021 was been a challenging year for many and this will continue into 2022 and beyond -  and that has been particularly so for the development sector. Dealing with, what can feel like, ever changing political direction, the Covid pandemic and the issues arising out of COP 26, navigating through all of this has tested both public and private sector professionals, but hopefully we emerge stronger and more determined to be more unified in overcoming these issues and championing the positive role planning has in shaping Britain’s future. What is clear from the nominations that women are now at the heart of defining what that future looks like.