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New Chairman

5_FM_Proud_to_support_logo_RGB_horizontal copyMy experience within the furniture industry was recognised when I was invited to join The Furniture Makers’ Company, the City of London livery company and charity for the furnishing industry. Having been Chairman of the Communications Committee and a member of the Court (the equivalent of the Board), I was delighted to be invited to form the East Anglian Region for the Company.

It is so rewarding that we have received such a high level of interest in the new East Anglian Group. I have often spoken to colleagues, during the course of meetings, about The Furniture Makers’ Company and the fact I am a member. Many people believed that the organisation was very London-centric and had no relevance to them – the new Group certainly demonstrates the commitment to the entire industry.

The Furniture Makers’ Company is a City of London livery company with its Hall in the heart of the City and is also the charity for the furniture and furnishing industry. Similarly, the Company has always championed our sector through nationwide support of Excellence, Education and Welfare.

Over many years, we have provided welfare and support to those who experience difficulties for a number of reasons - including those who are working or retired. During 2020, FMC launched the Personal Welfare Grant Scheme providing much needed funds for those harmed by Covid-19.

The aim of the new East Anglian Group is to be business-focussed providing an opportunity to network, gain new contacts, exchange industry news and opinions, attend factory visits, listen to relevant speakers and be sociable! Overall to support the industry and colleagues throughout our region.

Women in Office Design

WOD IndiaThe Knight Partnership is proud to support and work with Women in Office Design - a networking group established in 2018 by leading interior designer, Harsha Kotak.

As a member of the Group, Joanna Knight (our senior partner) was delighted to report on the launch of Women in Office Design - India.

Harsha Kotak’s original vision when she launched WOD (Women in Office Design) back in 2018 was “to inspire and empower women involved in the profession of office design & creation”. The inaugural seminar for WOD India Chapter, entitled Power Women of Design (India), certainly demonstrated that she is achieving her goal.

Attended by over 150 colleagues from around the world, the session provided the opportunity for ten of India’s key players in office design to discuss and highlight their experiences in building and developing their careers. Hosted at Steelcase’s showroom in Bangalore, the event was inspirational and great fun – and showed how the current Covid-19 restrictions have actually ‘fast forwarded’ the potential for global networking through technology.

“WOD is not about feminism,” explained Harsha. “It’s about providing a platform for women around the world to learn from each other.”

UK member, Joanna Knight, who has been in the office and contract furniture industry for over 30 years, concluded: “I was humbled and certainly inspired by the attitudes and advice offered by the speakers. It was so exciting to listen to the experiences of fellow women and I believe it highlights how we can all help each other – men and women.”

Women in Office Design was founded in May 2018 by Harsha Kotak, an interior designer with a vision to inspire and empower women working in all areas of the office design industry. WOD is a growing network of 1500 plus global members with chapters in London, Birmingham, Spain and now India. There are plans to expand to other major cities nationally and internationally. People can join WOD Digital to register for all events by going to the website - www.woduk.com/digital

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