Women’s Leadership Summit opens with messages of equity, empowerment

Submitted by 92e808af-7b54-… on Thu, 09/14/2023 - 11:55
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1694693333\/upevqdnhmxm3slkzdqyt.jpg","id":"6667550"}],"caption":"Women from Boston and Washington, DC-area universities attend WLS as part of the inaugural WLS student delegation. Members of the delegation were nominated by their schools. "}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1694693123\/ba5yd5adcwxx0kzekck0.jpg","id":"6667548"}],"caption":"The Equity in Society panel discusses key issues facing women in architecture at the 2023 Women\u0027s Leadership Summit in Boston. "}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1694692919\/y7apndw7bc8i2vocuicp.jpg","id":"6667547"}],"caption":"Family members of the late Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, sister AnnPing Chin and daugther Poole Chan, join WLS founders Carol Burns, FAIA, Katy Flammia, AIA, Jeanne Lukenda, FASLA, Heather Taylor, AIA, and Carole Wedge, FAIA to mark the event\u0027s retun to Boston. "}]],"markups":[["em"],["strong"]],"sections":[[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Massachusetts-based band Bomba de Aqui paraded into the Sheraton Boston Hotel ballroom at the 2023 Women\u2019s Leadership Summit (WLS) opening keynote session. The Afro-Puerto Rican dance and music company urged the crowd to \u201cMake some noise,\u201d and the 900 attendees answered. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The charge for women architects to be seen and heard in their firms and their communities echoed throughout the first day of AIA\u2019s premier event for female leaders, as attendees and speakers celebrated the evolution of women in architecture and honored the event\u2019s rich history. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cWe\u2019ve hosted many Women\u2019s Leadership Summits before, but this is our second "],[0,[0],1,"annual "],[0,[],0,"event,\u201d said AIA CEO\/EVP Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, who committed to making WLS a yearly gathering in 2022. In her keynote address, Woods highlighted the slow progress toward increasing the number of women in architecture, particularly women of color, and called on WLS attendees to be bold in sharing their own success. \u201cStatistically speaking, women don\u2019t highlight their brilliance or their accomplishments at the same level as men. We want to develop fearless leaders who recognize their talent and knowledge and have the confidence to share it and show it,\u201d said Woods."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Empowerment and equity themes dominated the workshops, breakout sessions, and the opening keynote. "]]],[10,0],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cThis conference symbolizes our collective commitment to foster a greater future for women in architecture,\u201d said AIA 2023 President Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA, as she welcomed attendees. \u201cIt\u0027s not just about building structures; it\u0027s about building a community of empowered architects who not only shape skylines but also shape minds. It\u0027s about amplifying the stories of our achievements, not just for our own recognition, but to inspire the generations that will follow us.\u201d "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Equity in Society"],[0,[],0," "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The Equity in Society panel included Chief of Staff to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Tiffany Chu; AIA 2024 President elect, Kimberly Dowdell, AIA; Principal \u0026 Director of Science at Payette, Andrea Love, FAIA; and Co-chair of the Boston Women\u2019s Workforce Council, Dr. Evelyn Murphy. Interior designer Alexandra Tseffos, host of The Design Pop Podcast, moderated the panel and served as event MC. "]]],[1,"p",[]],[10,1],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The first-of-its-kind WLS keynote explored topics like workplace experiences, attracting diversity, the value of inclusion, and the wage gap. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cThe wage debate is not equal pay equal work. It\u2019s a proxy for power,\u201d said Murphy. \u201cNo amount of work we do will fix this unless employees take very seriously the elimination of bias under their roof. The only way to eliminate these gaps is to elevate people of color and women.\u201d "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Dowdell believes one way to attract more diverse people to the profession is to foster cultures of inclusion and place a higher value on architects. \u201cWe need architects to make more money,\u201d Dowdell said, as the audience applauded. Dowdell encouraged attendees to join professional organizations and look to mentors to help guide paths toward leadership, reminding the audience how representation matters by sharing the story of a letter she received from a college student after becoming AIA President-elect that read, \u201cbecause you won, I feel like my dreams are possible.\u201d"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"To increase inclusion in the profession, Chu recommends the approach Mayor Wu takes when creating policy: Ask who is "],[0,[0],1,"not"],[0,[],0," at the table. \u201cIt takes longer when you do good stakeholder engagement. Not only is outcome sourced for a wider set of voices but also you have a built-in set of validators for the decision you do make,\u201d said Chu, who called on architects to use \u201cnormal language\u201d to help make the profession more accessible to people outside the building and design industry. \u201cIf you are trying to elevate design across the country, we have to use language that normal people understand. The way that this connects to equity is that architecture becomes this highfalutin discipline that others can\u2019t participate in,\u201d said Chu. \u201cThat does an extreme disservice to the profession.\u201d "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Love called for firm leaders to practice core hours for flexibility, encourage discussion around mental health, and shape cultures that allow employes to feel confident offering feedback. \u201cEveryone should feel confident to speak up, even if you are a recent graduate or a young profession,\u201d said Love, who shared how she called on AIA to increase the number of pumping rooms for nursing mothers at conferences and events. Her request was honored. \u201cYour ability to speak up could change things.\u0022"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Honoring WLS History"],[0,[],0," "]]],[1,"p",[]],[10,2],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Now an annual AIA event, WLS began as an effort by Boston Society for Architecture\u2019s (BSA) Women\u2019s Principals Group as a platform for advancing the role of women in the profession. Leaders from that group, the late Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, Carole Wedge, FAIA, Jeanne Lukenda, FASLA, Carol Burns, FAIA, Heather Taylor, AIA, Janet Ross, AIA, and Katy Flammia, AIA, were honored for their role in launching WLS. At the 2008 AIA Conference on Architecture in Boston, this group designed a Women\u0027s Leadership Workshop. Its success sparked the creation of the Women\u2019s Leadership Summit in 2009. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\u201cWLS felt vital and necessary when we started,\u201d said Flammia. \u201cIt\u2019s very gratifying to see how it has not only endured but grown. Women leading design thinking, now more than ever, is required to solve the global systemic issues we face today.\u201d "]]]]}
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The charge for women architects to be seen and heard in their firms and their communities echoed throughout Day 1 of AIA’s premier event for female leaders
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The Equity in Society panel discusses key issues facing women in architecture at the 2023 Women's Leadership Summit in Boston.
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