08 Mar 2018
To mark International Women’s Day March 8th, Brightwater is celebrating inspirational women. We are championing women who are leaders in their field and make a difference in their community. In this profile we are highlighting Tanusha Naidoo, Planning Manager (London & Belfast) at Regional Enterprise as an inspirational woman.
Q – What is your current role?
A – As a Planning Manager (London-Barnet), I manage a team of Area Planning Town Planners. The team in London deliver an incredible service to the community and are an absolute pleasure to work alongside them.
As the Planning Manager(Belfast) of an exciting and innovative resilience service, I ensure our planning partnerships across England are adequately serviced so they are able to deliver on their own statutory commitments. Looking forward we hope to offer our services to Local Authorities in Northern Ireland.
The role is incredibly exciting and brings with it some fantastic opportunities for Northern Irish Planning professionals. I am very proud to be a part of a team that is able to create opportunities for local professionals.
Q – How did you get into your current role?
A – Town Planning is all I have ever done. All of my formal education was Town Planning centric. I have never held a job, part-time or otherwise that was not planning related. I suppose, I always knew, planning and I had a love affair that I could never get away from (Indeed, I am soon to marry a fellow Planner – it all appears to be kismet) and with that understanding, moving up the ranks was something I always aspired toward – don’t get me wrong, I have by no stretch of the imagination ‘arrived’ but I am delighted to be in my current role.
Q – Do you have any qualifications?
A – I received an undergraduate planning degree in South Africa, then moved to England where I gained a Master’s Degree in Town and Country Planning. Following my formal training, I pursued professional accreditations. I am a chartered member of the:
- South African Planning Institute
- Royal Town Planning Institute
- Commonwealth Association of Planners
Q – What 3 things do you love about your current role?
A – Mentoring - To me monitoring is a reciprocal action that keeps me grounded whilst allowing me contribute to the careers of younger professionals. A responsibility I do not take lightly.
Pure Planning - All these years on, I still turn into a gleefully giddy little child to see a scheme I have contributed to come out of the ground and make a difference in the community – PRICELESS.
Team Player - Being a part of such an innovative team, a team that sees opportunity where others simply cannot makes me feel like a winner every time I walk into the office – case in point, our new Belfast Office. This office has so much potential, I could only wish, I were sufficiently eloquent to explain.
Q – What would be your favourite part of your current role ?
A – Without any doubt, spending time with my team. My team are a bunch of super stars that consistently make me look very good.
Q – Proudest moment within your career to date?
A – I am incredibly proud of the projects I have worked on in the past and indeed their contributions to the community. But, I suppose the aspect of my job I am most proud of, are the people. The people, I am afforded the opportunity to manage and mentor. There are so many promising individuals within the organization and indeed those that have grown and moved on. It may sound cliché but I do go on the journey with them - Celebrating their achievements fills me with great pride and I would not trade it in for other part of my job.
Q – Greatest career achievement to date?
A – Since we started, in the last quarter of 2017, we have doubled in size and brought forward a new team of policy planners. Our Belfast office has done better than anyone anticipated we ever would and that I have to admit, feels fairly good.
Q – What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed within the workplace?
A – No successful person will ever tell you they got to where they are by not working hard and smart. It is about putting in the time – you will be rewarded and if you are not, you are an adult, you are free to take your talents to an employer that will value you.
Q – What do you think are the challenges facing women in the planning sector today?
A – Women in planning face the same challenges that all other professional women face. If I may, I would prefer to focus on (what I think the) solutions rather than the problems are.
What we need is for society to understand and accept that we all have value and all bring something different to the table. To my mind, different genders need to stop bashing each other into submission but rather work together, use our strengths cumulatively and strive forward for the betterment of our profession and indeed society. Equality for all!
Q – From your experience to date what have you learned about being in a leadership role
A – You could never implement one leadership method/style and expect to be successful. The only way you are going to be a successful leader is if you understand your team and meet them where they are. Leadership is a two way stream and it involves a great deal of trust on both sides – so if you are leader, best be true to your word.
Q – From your experience to date what have you learned about mentoring others?
A – Mentoring others builds invaluable personal relationships.
Tanusha Naidoo MRTPI, Planning Manager (London – Belfast), Regional Enterprise.