International Women’s Day
8 March 2023
To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, we’re shining a light on our supremely talented and inspiring female colleagues. Each day this week, we’ll be hearing from a different member of the team about their experiences in our traditionally male-dominated profession.
Tell us a bit about your career path to date.
Unlike most people I didn’t really know what I wanted to study and after doing an Art Foundation course I decided that architecture had the perfect mix of creativity, science and technology. After university I spent some time working in Milwaukee, USA, where I was exposed to the intricacies of designing in different extreme conditions and in feet in inches!
What inspired me to study architecture?
Reflecting on the spaces and places that shaped my experiences and childhood growing up in different countries. Great spaces go beyond physical space and have lasting impacts on communities, the quality of peoples lives and wider urban regeneration. I wanted to contribute to making a difference across all these areas.
Who are your female role models?
Hattie Hartman. The work she has done after a decade in practice raising awareness around sustainable design, making the conversation more accessible and engaging with practitioners around her Climate Champions Podcast is truly inspiring.
It’s hard to name just one woman though. I feel inspired every day by the females I meet in my Doyenne cycling club, the amazing female clients I get to work with, my mentors, family and incredible work colleagues.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Becoming a Director at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt and being able to contribute to and influence the direction of the practice and business.
What are your thoughts on how gender equality is evolving in the workplace and what are your aspirations for the future?
The impact of the Covid pandemic forced lots of businesses to innovate change and adapt to more flexible working methods and remote working policies which had led to more gender equality.
Although we have seen progress there is still more to do. The best projects and the best businesses are designed and run by the most diverse teams. My aspiration in the future is for a true 50/50 gender split to be in place across all levels of businesses.
If you could give one piece of advice to a woman at the start of her career journey, what would it be.
You are never too young to start building your network! Take every opportunity to go to events, build connections and make friends. The connections you build now will help and support you in your future career.
Finally, which is your favourite building designed by a woman?
Accordia, Cambridge, by Alison Brooks.