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  • June 19, 2020

    At our June monthly committee meeting, we continued the Design Presentation Series, during which Hanxiao Yang, AIA, LEED GA, and Marina Marquez Costas, both of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, talked about the Penn Station 33rd Street Entrance Canopy and Manhattan West. Both projects are a part of The Midtown Mile Development, a series of SOM projects that focus on the creation of new and repurposed public spaces above and along the underground train tracks in Midtown West, Manhattan.

    The presentation included remarkable digital visualizations and details of the anticlastic cable glass canopy design for the Penn Station 33rd Street Entrance, numerous specifications, and meticulous material details of the Manhattan West Lobby.

    The presentations were preceded by highlighting events and sharing several resources addressing equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as topics on women’s leadership and COVID-19. They include the Urban Land Institute’s  Women’s Leadership Initiative Summer Speaker Series, “400 Forward“,  an initiative of the Urban Arts Collective, which introduces young girls to architecture, provides scholarships and wrap around services to college students, and pays for study material and licensing exams for African American women in architecture, AIA Austin WIA’s Force Majeure Design CompetitionDesign Voice Podcast COVID Diaries, and many more.

    You can view the full meeting agenda, and access links to resources and good reads here.

  • June 17, 2020

    On June 12, Sylvia Smith of FXCollaborative shared her fantastic presentation at the WIA Leadership Breakfast event, titled “Themes and Variations.”

    During the presentation she walked us through her career path and sources of inspiration. We learned about her expressive and thoughtful design rhetoric—importance of poetic connections to site, landscape, and the end-users. Each project is a celebration of history and culture, with a shared sense of empathy towards nature and people.

    Thank you to everyone who joined us!

  • June 6, 2020

    On June 1, the AIANY WIA Committee hosted an inspiring WIA Chapter Exchange webinar with AIA Miami, AIA Minnesota, and AIA West JerseyElizabeth Camargo, AIA, the Women’s Leadership Summit Chair from AIA Miami, Amy Kalar, AIA, WIA Committee Co-Founder of AIA Minnesota, and Jessica O’Donnell, AIA, WIA New Jersey Section Director of AIA West Jersey joined AIANY WIA Co-Chair Vivian Lee, FAIA in presenting initiatives and programs from their committees, focusing on the topics of Design & Leadership, Workplace Culture, Professional Practice & Development, and Advocacy & Activism. AIANY WIA Co-Chair Kerry Nolan, AIA, moderated the event.

    After the presentations, the participants divided into breakout rooms to continue the discussion. The rooms were led by facilitators from the AIANY WIA Advisory Board and Media Communication team, Rosalind Tsang, AIA, Jen Stencel, AIA, Sandra Benjamin, AIA, Arielle Lapp, and Kavya Cherala. The breakout rooms allowed for a lively discussion with intimate groups. A national WIA presence from 19 different AIA Chapters attended, including participants from AIA New York, AIA West Jersey, AIA MinnesotaAIA Seattle, AIA Kansas City, AIA Long Island, AIA Utah, AIA Miami, AIA Orlando, AIA San AntonioWIA Houston, AIA Northern Virginia and AIA Colorado to name a few. The discussions touched on all the topics from the presenters, identifying actions such as calling out discrepancies in leadership parity, talking to firm leadership about running an equal pay audit, establishing benchmarks so staff can understand how and where to improve, and how best to be an ally to other communities.

    In an important discussion on allyship, our presenter, Amy Kalar AIA, from AIA Minnesota  shared with us about the tragic and heartbreaking scenes she had witnessed in her city of Minneapolis. She asked us, as architects, what are we doing to make an impact in our society, and how we can improve our communities. Her powerful words resonated with all the participants and reminded us about the importance of equity and diversity, empathy, and trust.

    • For the Committee Presentation Slides from  AIA New York WIA, AIA Miami WIA, AIA New Jersey WIA, and AIA Minnesota WIA, click here.
    • For Breakout Room Questions and Notes Summary, click here.
    • For a summary of AIANY Women in Architecture 2019 events, click here.

    Related Links:

    AIANJ, ‘What does AIA NJ do for me?’

    Making social justice your business, JUST program

    What is Social Equity?

    Jeanne Gang closes gender pay gap

    Billie Tsien ‘make space for families’

  • May 27, 2020

    Thank you to everyone who participated in our May 2020 Committee Meeting! We had a very well attended, lively and engaging roundtable discussion on the topic of ‘Women in Leadership’ based on two Harvard Business Review articles: Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills and Good Leadership is About Communicating “Why”. The discussion, facilitated by Rosalind Tsang, AIANY WIA Committee Advisory Board member, focused on themes such as Key Leadership Competencies; Confidence; Unconscious Bias; Communication and Motivation; and Empathy, Inclusivity and Authenticity. We discussed the many factors contributing to the low percentage of women in senior leadership, and strategies for addressing these challenges. A special thank you to Keely Denenberg, Senior Client Partner, and Jodi Detjen, Managing Partner, from Orange Grove Consulting, who joined us. Orange Grove Consulting specializes in helping organizations improve gender equity and inclusivity through training and special programs. They shared many invaluable insights from their workshop, “Understanding Bias: Challenges and Opportunities for Women Leadership.”  To learn more about OGC Women in Leadership Programs, please download their brochure here. They also provided the links below with additional information and resources:

    You can view the meeting agenda here, and access the Notes and Resource links from the discussion here.

    We look forward to seeing you in-person soon and hope you will join us for our next virtual meeting in the meantime!

  • April 24, 2020

    Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual committee meeting this month! As always, the conversation was relevant, engaging and necessary. We discussed work-life balance while working from home and office initiatives, with members sharing other helpful advice and resources. It was wonderful to be joined by Sam Spica from Fairygodboss, who shared exclusive access to the website’s new professional profiles, which include features to apply for jobs with real-time updates of the hiring process and other comprehensive guides.

    You can view the meeting agenda which includes several links to resources to support you during the COVID-19 crisis here.

    We look forward to seeing you in-person soon and hope you will join us for our next virtual meeting in the meantime!



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