Valentine’s Day Appreciation

This spring marks my 30th anniversary graduating from architecture school. How does that relate to Saint Valentine’s Day?

Well, I recall architecture school being a 30/60 mix of women/men, and maybe my mind is fuzzy on that detail, but it is not fuzzy that I graduated in a hiring slump. The job I’d been promised before graduation fell through a month before I planned to return home.

While I did manage a couple of new interviews, the job I was offered and took required that I agree to answer the offices phones and handle typing, because “these are tasks women are especially good at and who wants to hear a man’s voice answering the phone?” Never mind the seven other men who worked in the office were willing to answer the phone, this was the belief of my new 80 something year old boss.

Oddly, the positive in accepting this position, was I then had opportunities to learn about building codes, specifications and putting together proposals and presentations which many interns did not have exposure to initially out of school. The other four male interns drew stairs and door details day in and day out. Not very exciting work.

After a year I did resign and headed south to Atlanta in my car, with my cat, for new experiences. At times I found myself the only female in the room at a table of engineers, owners and contractors coordinating a project. At one firm, I was the only female architecture associate. But as time passed, the ratio of women to men grew. I had the opportunity to team with other female architects, engineers and general contractors.

Today, as the owner of my own architecture and design company, I look back on the journey and the people I’ve met along the way. I thank the men who supported and encouraged my involvement and leadership at companies and the women sharing the journey with me, to become leaders and strong voices in the design and construction industry I know now.

So, on Valentine’s Day 2022, I intend to show my love and appreciation by beginning a blog interviewing those amazing individuals, to share their stories.

Please check back each month for a new chapter!

Graduation May 1992
Five Year First Professional Bachelor of Architecture