Powerful Inspiration: Notes from a Woman in Architecture
by Sigita Moran, Affiliate AIA | LA
“POWERFUL” was a stimulating and thought-provoking day full of a range of perspectives, vocal audience members and very personal stories. A few moments that resonated with me included the question by Courtney Crosson “is licensure an antiquated measure of success?” – Marc Neveu’s (elephant in the room) question of “should men be at this conference?” and Heidi Creighton and her husband’s raw and personal map of their life with careers and kids. Oh, and how could I forget Erin McConahey’s photo of her surrounded by the rest of the firm’s leadership (men), with the caption “I am here because of who I’m not.”
At some points during the day I felt I shouldn’t have abandoned practicing architecture; I am the real life missing 32% and I am not helping solve this problem! At other points I felt like I was glad I had a baby at the time I did, and that I took the path I did. Overall, I was simply in awe of the depth and complexity of different women’s experiences being female in this industry. My mind was racing. I wanted to talk to everyone there, I wanted time to hear more, and get additional honest answers.
At the end of the day, there wasn’t enough time to even graze all of the issues, or dive deep enough into a few (especially when the audience got very involved!). However, this was only the second ever conference – it felt like a lot of it just had to be “laid out on the table” before we can take the next steps. Women and men for the first (or second) time had a safe place to speak their mind, and raise issues that perhaps they didn’t have a place to do in the professional setting before. I would suggest that in the following events in this series, time can be allocated to work-sessions involving all attendees to generate specific action plans, allotting enough time for people to dive deeper into the topics they feel passionate about. We began with “Powerful: Women Leading Design” then we were “More Powerful Together” and I think now we’re ready to take some Powerful Steps Forward.
Sigita Moran, Afffiliate AIA|LA
Marketing Director, Ehrlich Architects
Director of Communications, Association of Women in Architecture + Design