Seeking personal sustainability

Women architects discussed leadership, culture and defining success

Tuesday night, VOA in association with CWA (Chicago Women in Architecture) hosted a discussion “Women Architects: Balancing Work and Life.” VOA Principals Brenda M. Bush-Moline, AIA, EDAC, LEED BD+C and Angie Lee, FAIA, NCARB, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C spoke about taking a holistic approach to work-life balance as women in the architecture and design industry.

Bush-Moline discussed finding your leadership style, five dimensions of leadership (with reference to a McKinsey report from 2010) and how leadership connects to balanced work and home life. She suggested that it is important to recognize the opportunity to amplify personal energy by leaning on a well-developed network, practicing resiliency and acknowledging difficulties as a part of professional development.

Lee looked at Cameron & Quinn’s types of organization culture, adding that the collaborative/creative industry tends to allow for “personal sustainability.” She spoke of the need for individuals to define success and what that looks like for home and for work, the importance of a strong supportive network, managing technology and owning our schedules. Last but not least, she talked about the importance of finding down time to unwind–mentally, emotionally and physically.

Discussion opened up to attendees from the industry, who spoke on the importance of setting expectations and verbalizing them in the workplace.

“We enjoyed the transparent conversation about the realities in our profession which make balance in life a constant challenge,” said Bush-Moline. “The honesty in the room regarding the struggle in achieving personal balance on a daily basis was noteworthy and underscores the timeliness of this topic.”

Leave a Comment

Write your comment