Why should women consider a career in the A/E/C industry? A career in the A/E/C industry provides multiple opportunities to discover different facets of your profession that you might not have been exposed to during your education or training. As you work on projects you begin to see the collaborative effort between the A/E/C team members where everyone is contributing to a project in specific ways to advance the owner’s needs. This exposure might help you visualize new ways to approach your skills and training and provide you with the flexibility to work in other A/E/C areas of the profession while increasing your overall knowledge and experience.
Starting out in the A/E/C business, who or what empowered you? After graduating from architectural school, I took a transitional job documenting historical properties for a rural county in a midwestern state. I was by myself, doing community presentations, photographing and interviewing people, and recording details of their historic properties. This hands-on approach was something I had never experienced before and by stepping outside of my comfort zone it gave me confidence and I developed a great feeling of empowerment. This early experience helped me recognize opportunities in my career might be different than what I had imagined, and also gave me a new perspective on how to do my job.
What was your greatest achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? The last twelve months have been a productive time for my team at Colliers Project Leaders as we worked with the Healthcare Associated Infections Organization (HAIO). We used our healthcare expertise to organize presentations for the A/E/C community to share design recommendations responsive to the needs of the medical community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcome of this process and method of sharing information was also replicated within our education sector with school superintendents in preparation for the new school year. It represents a model of collaboration that benefits the community and continues to inform our projects.