When I entered university there were about 80 students in our class, 15 women and 65 men. Eventually, 5 girls quit the program, or switched to other fields, and in the end there were 10 of us and 65 guys. At the time, people believed architecture programs were more suitable for men as the field involved long hours works, extreme workloads and the pressure of deadlines. They thought that this would leave no room for a normal family life. The majority of the firms – architectural and engineering – were owned, ran, and managed by men.
By the time I graduated, things were beginning to change. There were more women entering the program and joining the job market after graduation. They were taking management positions, leading projects, and running major projects. Although there was a clear shift in the market and demand, the majority of women were still in the design sector, while guys were running the construction phase of projects.
I am hoping to see equal opportunity for all individuals to shine and grow, no matter of race, religion and nationality. Women should be supported to find a balance between their family and work. Equal opportunity has to be provided for young women and men entering the job market. Extra attention and support needs to be provided around childbirth.
At IBI Group, there is equal opportunity for women to grow in their fields. They can go as high as they desire. They are given the opportunity to shine. Although there are not many women in director and partner positions, there are many in the managements and leading roles.
Today, I see a lot of women actively working in architecture and urban planning. They are creative, passionate, responsible, organized, knowledgeable, and much more. The clients I’ve dealt with love to work with women as, usually, the end result is a proper work. I see IBI offices as a sample. The number of women in project management positions is increasing. Our finance and marketing management roles in Canada West are being filled by women. I don’t see any end to this growth and I hope that soon, more upper managements positions will be filled by women.