Dezeen Magazine

Grimshaw is taking an all women panel to MIPIM 2019
Grimshaw's team will be Angela Dapper, Annie Kvick Thompson, Katie Murphy and Kirsten Lees

Grimshaw sends all-woman team to MIPIM property fair

A team of women will represent British architecture practice Grimshaw at this year's MIPIM, the property fair with a notorious boys' club reputation.

The firm founded by Royal Gold Medal 2019 winner Nicholas Grimshaw has revealed it will send four women to MIPIM 2019: principal architects Angela Dapper and Annelie Kvick Thompson, managing partner Kirsten Lees and business-development manager Katie Murphy.

Dapper, who joined Grimshaw in 2019, said the decision was partly fuelled by MIPIM's reputation for being an event attended mainly by men.

"MIPIM is always perceived as quite a masculine event so it seemed appropriate to celebrate Grimshaw's strong gender-equality principles with an all-female team," Dapper told Dezeen.

"The all female team is partly by design but also partly in response to sending the right people."

Presidents Club scandal overshadowed MIPIM 2018

Held in Cannes every year, MIPIM is a major networking event for architects and property developers. This year's event will run from 14 to 15 March, a week after International Women's Day.

With its reputation for champagne-fuelled parties on yachts, the trade fair has gained notoriety following reports of lewd behaviour from the largely male delegations that attend.

Cannes, France, where MIPIM 2019 will be held
MIPIM is an annual property trade fair held in Cannes, France. Photo by Hermann

The event came under particular scrutiny last year, following the Financial Times exposé of the behaviour of senior figures in the property industry at the men-only Presidents Club dinner.

MIPIM responded by promising to "increase communications" with its attendees about inappropriate behaviour.

More to MIPIM than "late-night drinking sessions"

Dapper hopes the Grimshaw team can show that networking can open in other places besides parties.

"It is time MIPIM changed to become more accessible and not all about late-night drinking sessions," she said.

"In order to show that it can we done differently, I am starting my MIPIM with an early-morning yoga session on the beach. Networking doesn't get better than that!" she added.

Murphy is returning from maternity leave, so will be using flexible "keeping in touch" days offered by the practice to attend the event.

MIPIM has faced criticism for being an event attended mainly by men

"Grimshaw are very much focused on gender equality, so we would ideally like our team to be 50/50," said Dapper, who cited gender equality as one of the major reasons for joining the firm.

"But in the context of our experience of the disproportionate amount of male attendees at MIPIM, we are happy to be showing the alternative."

Grimshaw has offices in eight cities around the world, and employs over 600 staff. Recent projects include the revamp of London Bridge Station and the Fulton Center in New York.