WOD (Women in Office Design) is a global networking group for women in the workplace design industry.
Founded by interior designer Harsha Kotak in May 2018, Women in Office Design is a platform for architects, designers, manufacturers and dealers, specifiers, space planners and workplace strategists from around the world to connect, share knowledge and discuss ideas within a dedicated design community.
Harsha noticed the disparity in numbers of women executives in the workplace design industry and these statistics were surprising, if not disconcerting.
She questioned, what do we want our industry to look like in the future and how do we get there? Harsha recognised the urgent need for a strong network that can support and foster women’s career growth in the industry. A unique environment where women can inspire and get inspired, and where idols become accessible mentors.
Men are welcome to join and attend WOD events; we encourage them to join us in changing the conversation. But the group was created as Harsha noticed that women were less likely to network compared to men which hinders female professionals’ career growth. She wanted to create a design network that would encourage more women to connect with their peers.
With chapters in the UK, US and Europe and over 1,500 WOD members and growing, Women in Office Design warmly welcomes individuals, companies and groups who are looking to connect with dynamic design professionals.
Harsha Kotak, Founder, WOD & Design Manager, K2 Space
Harsha, Founder of Women in Office Design, is an international Interior Designer and writer.
With a lifelong passion for design, Harsha has worked in the workplace design industry for over 20 years and has practiced in the US, India and the UK. Harsha is currently a member of the design team at K2 Space in London and is responsible for helping their global clients from the finance, tech & media sector.
Having worked on various prestigious projects worldwide, Harsha has united her global network by providing a dedicated platform for women to attend events, share ideas and connect with others in the design community.
Join WOD Digital
A digital community to supercharge your network and career.
Kay Sargent, ASID, IIDA, CID, LEED® AP, MCR/w, WELL AP
Senior Principal | Director of WorkPlace, HOK
With more than 35 years of experience, Kay is a recognised expert on workplace design and strategy issues.
She is an award-winning designer who has worked with several Fortune 500 companies to optimise their global real estate portfolios and create innovative work environments. Kay is considered an industry thought leader on workplace. She has authored multiple white papers and articles on a variety of design related topics.
Principal, Design Director, Gensler, UK
Jane serves as the workplace consulting studio director in Gensler’s London office and is a member of the firm’s Design Synergy management committee.
With a fascination for understanding how people use spaces, Jane works with companies to get the best value and best use from individual buildings and entire real estate.
Director Workplace Experience, KKS Salvis
Caroline Pontifex is a director at KKS Salvis and leads their workplace strategy team.
Advising occupiers using workplace as a vehicle for change, and developers ensuring real estate solutions are able to respond to change, her work analysing emerging workplace trends, developing standards and space planning principles has led to KKS Salvis winning prestigious awards.
Georgia Elliott-Smith, BENG, CENV, MIEMA,
Sustainability Consultant, Element 4
Georgia is an environmental engineer, Chartered Environmentalist, and a UN Special Junior Envoy for Youth and the Environment.
Georgia founded sustainability consultancy Element 4 and has worked with organisations such as the Bank of England, Nike, LandSec, Deloitte, Accenture, Mace and DEFRA. Georgia is one of only two Fitwel Champions in Europe.
The Travelling Ergonomist
Kirsty Angerer aka The Travelling Ergonomist is passionate about educating the world on the subject of ergonomics and human factors.
She is a Certified Professional Ergonomist, Fitwel Ambassador, WELL Movement Concept Advisor and self-confessed nerd. Kirsty believes that there is an inherent opportunity to optimise people’s health and enhance performance.
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Women in Office Design began in London, England, but was always intended to be a global network.
The Birmingham chapter was started to support women from the design fraternity by organising local events for members there.
The Spanish chapter flourished in Spain where Harsha along with WOD co-founders Soledat Berbegal Roque & Gracia Cardona, hosted the inaugural Spanish Women in Office Design event at the prestigious Design Museum of Barcelona in May 2019. The Spanish chapter has since organised many local events in Barcelona, Madrid & Valencia.
We are currently working on starting WOD chapters in Italy and Paris, and if you wish to be involved in these chapters or wish to start a new chapter in your country get in touch with us.
Soledat Berbegal Roque
Spain Core Team
Soledat is a Director of Brand and Communications at Actiu and is part of the second generation of this family owned furniture brand. A well respected member of the workplace design fraternity in Spain, Soledat founded WOD in Spain and is actively involved in promoting WOD’s passion for sharing knowledge in Spain.
Spain Core Team
Gracia is the Founder and Editor of DairioDesign Magazine and CEO of Decotherapy. As the president of WOD Spain, Gracia utilises her wide spread design network to organise meaningful events for the design and architecture community in Spain.
Payal Sandhu Khurana
India Core Team
Payal is a Bangalore based interior architect and workplace strategist with vast experience in delivering workplaces of significant scale and stature. She is a well-respected member of the design community in India and is focused on using her leadership and networking skills to establish WOD’s India chapter.
India Core Team
With over 3 Decades of experience with large scale multinational corporate office campuses to sustainable projects that follow the philosophy of ‘circular design’ in retrofit /refurbishment projects, Fancy has always had a deep appreciation for workplaces from a people perspective, been passionate about connecting and designing from an empathetic and life centred community point of view. Her basic philosophy of an immersive approach starts with – Collaboration first, Communication next and finally Co-creating for a bespoke solution. Fancy is a Workplace Strategist / Architect with Thomas Associates Workplace Design where she is a CEO with a responsibility of growing the workplace business for the firm.
Italy Core Team
Lauren is an A&D consultant for Flokk. Her background is in Interior Design, with over 17 years of experience in the furniture sector she has worked for dealers, manufacturers and architectural practices in the UK and Italy. She is passionate about wellbeing and sustainable design, is a WELL AP and teaches yoga on the side. Lauren relocated to Italy in 2021 and has been involved in the launch of WOD Italy chapter as WOD Italy Ambassador.
Take a look at some of the events we've had the pleasure of hosting previously.
UK Core Team
Melanie is an experienced Sales and Specification Manager who has been working in the furniture industry for over 5 years with Isomi, her family’s business.
She is passionate about meeting and bringing people together in the industry and is delighted that she can support WOD organising events.
Magda is an account manager for ACTIU, a Spanish office furniture manufacturer. She has a passion for design, with sales and marketing skills developed over 15 years in the industry.
Magda, a busy mum of three boys, remains an active contributor to planning and promoting events for WOD.
Giverny is a freelance Marketing Consultant specialising in the workplace and design sector.
Alongside supporting Women in Office Design, Giverny creates marketing campaigns, social media strategies and memorable events for fitout and furniture companies.
Debbie is Regional Sales Manager Milliken Midlands, producer of award winning carpet tiles for over 25 years.
Debbie has a passion for networking, so she gets great pleasure from holding seminars, training and events, and is the co-founder of WOD Birmingham chapter.
Alison Monteith is a Birmingham based Interior Architect and workplace consultant who has a reputation for delivering successful, practical yet creative working environments across multiple markets. Alison heads the WOD Birmingham chapter along with Debbie Smallman.