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May 17, 2022 By IIDA HQ
IIDA and urban Collaborate to #BeMoreInclusive
Learn about our collaboration with the UK-based recruitment specialist urban, bringing their inclusivity-driven hiring strategies stateside.
By IIDA HQ May 17, 2022
Published in Talent Collective

Real, lasting changes in any industry begin by elevating a diverse set of voices at the onset of their careers—and even at the student level. As a part of IIDA’s continued commitment to promoting EDI in the commercial interior design industry, we’re collaborating with UK-based international interior design and architectural recruitment specialist, urban, bringing their inclusivity-driven solutions to hiring stateside—to #BeMoreInclusive.

By connecting firms seeking to hire a diverse workforce with candidates working with urban, the #BeMoreInclusive campaign ensures that young professionals have access to opportunities and are able to reach their full potential. Following success in the UK, IIDA is excited to bring the #BeMoreInclusive campaign to the Chicago and New York markets, and it is a seamless addition to our Talent Collective initiatives.

IIDA’s Talent Collective brings together a diverse group of design professionals to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion, facilitate opportunities, and guide professional development. This initiative also includes Design Your World, IIDA’s education pipeline program which provides high-schoolers with education and access to careers in design, and Talent Collective Consulting which offers a broad range of services to companies who want to assess their EDI strengths and weaknesses to make their organizations supportive, engaging places to work.

IIDA and urban look forward to providing firms a pathway towards connecting with a more diverse workforce —and ultimately opening doors for designers that may need extra support entering the workforce.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from two designers that found success with urban’s job placement, in both how to better place themselves as a candidate, and getting their foot in the door at firms:

Xhelani Sithole
Part 1 Architectural Assistant at Weston Williamson + Partners

"I graduated in June of 2020 from The University of Plymouth. The pandemic put a massive strain on my efforts to find a placement. Even getting to an interview stage felt impossible. As a young black female and an aspiring architect, the world is already difficult enough regardless of the pandemic.

It almost got to the point where I was contemplating a career change due to the lack of opportunity. Then I was fortunate to stumble upon urban. After being given no opportunities, urban helped me get my foot in the door with multiple practices. They saw potential in me that other firms had not, and gave me advice on how I could change my portfolio to stand out more to practices. They helped me at a time where I nearly gave up completely with this industry and supported me throughout the year until I found my dream job. I am so grateful for the time and effort they put into helping me find a job, specifically Mark who pushed and believed in me, helping me finally find success in this industry."

Jeevan Chahal
Part 1 Architectural Assistant at JTP, LLP


"My experience with urban’s #BeMoreInclusive initiative was exceptional! The service provided by Beth was quick and efficient and served me a sense of hope as she seemed extremely experienced within the recruitment industry. Urban as a whole is a great company, where they aim to bridge the gap between graduates and architecture firms. This current process of applying is in need of a lot of support and improvement, especially in the current climate we are in. Urban provides a sense of hope where they have great connections with amazing architecture firms.

In my situation, urban and more specifically, Beth, provided me with an Interview with JTP Architects, a firm that appealed to me greatly. The turn-around was extremely quick, and we were in contact for only a few days and I managed to get the job! I'm now a Part 1 Architectural Assistant at JTP Architects, working on a range of projects from large master plans to small community engagement schemes.

I cannot thank urban and Beth, in particular, for all the support and opportunities. The #BeMoreInclusive initiative truly changed my life!"

Learn more about IIDA’s Design Your World and Talent Collective initiatives, and to connect with urban and IIDA, contact Phyllis Jones, IIDA Program Manager Talent Collective, Design Your World at pjones@iida.org; or Charlotte Kingsbury, Operations Manager, Architecture + Design, urban. charlotte@bemoreurban.com

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