On Women’s Leadership in Design
Questions surrounding the ways in which the design profession facilitates women leadership continues, not to mention concerns over their levels of participation across various design sectors. Following IIDEXCanada 2016’s National Summit on Women in Design, Globe & Mail columnist Alex Bozikovic interviewed a number female practitioners on the role of women in the profession of architecture. Their answers are never so straightforward but common threads exist: women need to maintain a strong dialogue and presence in shaping our buildings, cities and landscapes.
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Leadership roles assumed by women across the profession will vary and advocacy groups like Toronto’s Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT) hope to serve as a resource for women who wish to carve out a meaningful role for themselves as they pursue their careers. As Bozikovic notes in his article, “Though women already outnumber men in many architecture schools, they are much more likely to drop out of the profession, because of, among other things, the profession’s workaholic culture, the macho attitudes that survive within the building industry and the business world.”
BEAT has noted a drop in the percentage of women who study architecture versus those who are in practice, a number that goes down even further when you look at the number of firm partners and principals who are women. Their solution as an advocacy group? To provide effective mentorship to young women currently transitioning into the profession.
On March 4th, BEAT will be delivering a seminar directed at recent graduates and young professionals who intend to pursue careers in architecture, landscape architecture and interior design. Attendees will work with leaders in the profession throughout the one-day event. This will be BEAT’s third annual seminar. The seminar takes place at the Gladstone Hotel and is open to both students and recent graduates.
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Image: left to right Elaine Pantel, Principal, Assurance and Business Advisory, Shimmerman Penn LLP
Susan Black, Susan Black, Principal and Director of Perkins Eastman Black
Betsy Williamson, Principal, WilliamsonWilliamson, and Advisory Committee, Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT)
Credit: IIDEXCanada | Yianni Tong