CIP is proud to celebrate women and gender-diverse planners this International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023.

This year’s international theme–Embrace Equity–recognizes the progress that has been made, as well as the work that still needs to be done toward achieving gender equity to realize a world free from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

By celebrating the perspectives of women and gender-diverse planners and community members, and by addressing issues of gender inequity in planning practices, the profession will play a role in a more equitable world for all. Guided by our Strategic Plan–1,835 Days of Impact–CIP is committed to achieving More Equitable Planning, Together and taking Integrated Action on Complex Issues.

“The UN has estimated that at the current rate of progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals, it could take close to 300 years to achieve full gender equality around the world.In 2019, the Canadian Professional Planners National Compensation & Benefits Survey found that the gender wage gap is on average $12,500 within the planning profession. The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is committed to more equitable planning, together by elevating the voices of women and gender-diverse planning professionals and learning from their experiences in this country on this day–and beyond. The global pandemic and its lasting effects have disproportionately impacted women and gender diverse people over the last three years. Shifts in the gender wage gap in the planning profession is one of the many things that CIP will look to identify in the next national compensation and benefits survey.”

Beth McMahon, MES
Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Institute of Planners

Read CIP’s full statement here
To mark International Women’s Day, we asked planners: “How can the planning profession play a role in advancing equity for women, in all their diversity, in communities around the country? Can you share an example from your career with us?” 

Here is what we heard in response:

The planning profession has an important and significant role to play in advancing equity for women. As we build and develop our communities, there should be a focus on adopting inclusive engagement processes, understanding the barriers that women face, and ensuring that the spaces we plan for are welcoming and consider the needs of all citizens. Aside from external planning, we should also reflect on our internal processes, including how we can move toward building more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplaces, as well as having a more balanced representation of women leaders. – Dilys Huang (she/her), RPP, MCIP, Planner at the City of New Westminster

To advance equity for women in planning, there needs to be deep consideration for intersectionality and how multiple interlocking forms of oppression negatively impact the daily lives of women. By interrogating how we plan cities and for whom we plan cities, planners can begin to identify the long-standing gaps and implement meaningful change for generations of women and girls. – Jamilla Mohamud (she/her), RPP, MCIP, Associate at Urban Strategies Inc.

Planners of every level of experience conduct public engagement. However, the profession’s best practices need to be re-evaluated to ensure they are equitable and reduce barriers that prevent people of all genders from participating. One example of a barrier at an engagement event is gendered washrooms, which are unsafe. This can be addressed by choosing engagement venues that have all-gender washrooms or temporarily making the washrooms all-gender by covering the existing door signs. This is just one example of how engagement best practices can be improved to work towards greater gender equity in the planning profession. – Lyndsay Francis (they/she), RPP, MCIP, Senior Planner at the City of Fort Saskatchewan

We’ve come a long way with so many women now part of the planning profession. While women used to be the minority at planning conferences, now we are often the majority of participants and presenters. However, women still lag behind men in filling management and director roles. Beyond the profession, the voices of women, in all their diversity, are critical in communities. When I engage with communities, I make an effort to go where women are, to ensure their voices are heard in any planning process. – Tracey Wade (she/her), RPP, MCIP, Sole Proprietor Planning Consultant

CIP has also assembled several resources on gender-inclusive and equitable planning. Explore our resource list below.

CIP Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Resources

International Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Resources

Government of Canada Resources

Guides, Articles, and Reports

Multimedia and Other Resources


Do you know of more resources that are relevant to the planning community? Help us to gather and share more learning resources by contacting us at