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  • June 26, 2019
    Monthly Committee Meeting Agenda | 20 June 2019

    Upcoming WIA 2019 Events and Programs | Summer 2019

    17 July 2019 | Firm Tours

    • Susan T. Rodriguez Architecture Design
    • Weiss Manfredi
    • CannonDesign


    20 July 2019 | Around Manhattan Architecture Boat Tour(10:15 am – 1:00 pm)

    • $70 with complimentary beer, wine or champagne, and light snacks
    • Signe Nelsen (Matthews Nielsen), Hayes Slade (Slade Architecture), Ayumi Sugiyama (SHoP), Cameron Ringness ( FXCollaborative), Julie Engh (Urban Projects Collaborative)


    21 August 2019 | Architectural Practice Panel: Firm Handbook and Best Practices for Office Policies

    • Co-Sponsoring with the Professional Practice Committee
    • Moderated by The Architecture Lobby
    • Panelists: CEO of a large firm, Principal of a small firm, Chief HR Officer, Labor & Employment Attorney
    • Soliciting small, medium & large size firms for sample Employee Handbooks


    Proposed Fall / Winter Events

    • September: Honoring AIA Fellowship Happy Hour, Brownstone Renovation Project Tour\
    • October | Archtober WOMEN IN DESIGN: Leadership Breakfast, Committee Meeting Design Presentation, Architecture Design Presentation and Panel Women Design Leaders on International Projects
    • November: Practitioner | Student Mentoring Warm-Up Fall Session with Princeton, Cooper Union (TBC), and City Tech (TBC), Committee Meeting Roundtable on Business & Practice
    • December: Speed Mentoring


    Around Town & Related Events

    AIA New York Chapter Honorees (19 June 2019)

    • Special Citation Honor Julia Gamolina, Assoc. AIA & Madame Architect Editor

    AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, Minneapolis | Reframe. Rethink. Refresh (12-14 September)

    • AIA WLS Pre-Conference | Design Salon (11 September 2019)

    AIA WIA New Orleans | New York Design & Practice Exchange (27-28 September 2019)

    • Morning Session: Design Presentations “Centering Communities by Design” by WIA AIANY & WIA AIANO
    • Afternoon Session: Roundtable Discussion “Equity in Practice’ on Design Leadership, Workplace Culture, Professional Practice & Development, Advocacy & Activism
    • Soliciting volunteers to facilitate the Round Table  & firm sponsors

    A ’20  Call for Proposals | AIANY WIA: “Coast to Coast | Women Design Exchange”

    • Seminar proposal deadline: August 5
    • Preconference workshop proposals: September 27


    Topics & Good Reads

    Highlighting Women in Architecture| AIA New York State

    • Jane Smith, FAIA, Kelly Hayes McAlonie, FAIA, Graciela Carrillo, AIA, Ofe J. Clarke, AIA, Sue McClymonds, AIA, Pascale Sablan, AIA, Mary-Jean Eastman, FAIA

    The Workplace Still Isn’t Equal for Women. Here’s Some Advice to Navigate It| New York Times

    • A field guide for working women by Kristin Wong

    The Working Woman’s Handbook | New York Times


    Rejoining the Workforce After Taking Parental Leave

    • Several working mothers will offer their advice and share their experience in how they navigated and negotiated terms of their leave, connected with the office during leave, and what it was like to return from leave, both at work and at home.
    • The broad range of perspectives to be discussed will include returning to large and small firms and how some started their own practice. We will also present recent laws regarding Parental Leave and Lactation Room requirements, and talk about how the office and colleagues can support someone taking a leave or someone who has recently returned.


    • Discussion Topics: 
      • Preparing for Leave
      • During Leave
      • Returning To The Office & Lactation Laws
      • Extended Leave & Alternate Options
      • Firm Management
      • Lessons Learned
      • Q & A

    Preparing for Leave

    1. Navigating your firm’s culture.  Are there other mothers at your office?  What is the attitude around pregnancy, leave, etc.?
    2. Notify firm leadership/HR.
    3. Discuss with your partner how long to plan leave for.
    4. Discuss with the firm your intent to return full time/ part time/ slowly ramp up.
    5. Conversations to have with teams, clients, consultants before leave.
    6. Do not forget this is a great opportunity to set up others in the company to be promoted!
    7. Conversations to have with your partner before taking leave.

    During Leave

    1. Check in with office with periodic updates.
    2. Annual reviews.  Is this occurring when you are on leave?  Consider if you want to have that conversation during leave or once you return.
    3. Do you want to stay connected during leave?  If so, how?
    4. Investigate childcare options.

    Returning to the Office

    1. Adjust return date if needed (reasons may include childcare or physical/mental health)
    2. Making the mental adjustment back to the office.  How to navigate project responsibilities & workload.
    3. Navigating promotions.
    4. Partner/childcare transition
    5. Lactation breaks and NY State law.

    Extended Leave/ Alternate Option

    1. Taking a longer and/or extended leave from the profession; tackling the challenges of fitting back-in the workforce; staying current with relevant work experience
    2. Starting your own practice in order to manage a more flexible schedule and workload to accommodate your parental duties
    3. Change your career path to find a profession with better benefits or work schedule

    Lessons Learned

    1. Effective strategies to juggling new responsibilities and time constraints?
    2. Manage work schedule and responsibilities at 1-year after parental leave, 5-years, 10-years…?
    3. What attributes do parents have that can also translate to being a better employee?
    4. How to manage taking time off from work for parental duties? (sick child, school activities, parent-teacher meetings, late arrivals or early departure due to childcare/school)

    Firm Management

    1. What benefits and/or policies should the firm provide in order to retain workforce talent after parental leave?
    2. How can firms accommodate employees with parental duties while maintaining project demands and deadlines?
    3. Are firms aware of the AIA Guide to Equitable Practice?  The first 3 chapters were rolled out by EDI in 2018.
  • Parental Leave Roundtable

    Last week at the Center for Architecture, the Women in Architecture Committee held a roundtable discussion about navigating Parental Leave and returning to the workforce. The panel was moderated by Jen Stencel who recently returned to work at MAP Architects after her parental leave, and joining her as speakers, we had a group of working mothers who offered their advice and shared their personal experiences in a broad range of perspectives about returning to the workforce after taking Parental Leave.

    We discussed how to prepare in advance before taking parental leave, what happens during leave, procedures to think about in returning to the office, what happens when taking extended leave and alternate options to consider when rejoining the workforce, firm management issues, and the typical challenges women face, along with unique solutions employed to stay in the profession as working parents. The panel also reviewed current labor laws in NY State as they pertain to new parents.

    You can view the PowerPoint slides here and video of the discussion is available on the AIANY WIA webpage.

    We are grateful to everyone who participated as our panel speakers and they all have generously provided their contact info below to answer any follow-up questions and to offer individual advice and guidance:

    • Jen Stencel, AIA, LEED AP

    Senior Associate | Magnusson Architecture and Planning

    • Kaveri Singh

    Associate & WLI Committee Chair | RAMSA

    • Sara Lopergolo, AIA

    Partner | Selldorf Architects

    • Aimee Duquette, AIA, LEED AP 

    Associate | Grimshaw

    • Linda Tonn, AIA

    DVP & Chief Architect | NYC Transit

    • Sara Jazayeri, AIA, DPLG, CID, LEED AP BD+C

    Principal | Studio 360

    Director AIA Bronx

    • Carisima Koenig, AIA, LEED AP

    AIANY Professional Practice Committee Co-Chair

    Senior Vice President | CannonDesign

    • Yasmin Rehmanjee, PE, SE, LEED AP

    Principal | Buro Happold

    • Hajeong Lim

    Designer | Dattner Architects

    • Amanda Rivera

    Project Manager | AAI

  • June 7, 2019
    The Forensics of Architecture: CSI of Buildings

    On the 5th of June, the AIANY Women in Architecture committee were pleased to host Mary Bruccoli, Forensic Architect, Erwin & Bielinski, Joanna Peck, Construction Attorney, Desiderio, Kaufman & Metz, PC and Ingrid Sletten, Director of Sales, General Contractor, X-Act Contracting Corporations on a panel moderated by Kendra Logan, AIA, Principal, KELRA Consultants at the Center for Architecture.  The panel explored the problem-solving procedure that a forensic architect takes. The panel discussed current methodology for gathering data, non-invasive testing, and how examining and evaluating situations will help generate solutions (repair design) and provide answers (in a court of law) for the problems at hand.

    The excellent presentation and discussion moderated by Kendra Logan was followed by a Q & A session that was engaging and brought forth interesting references to investigations and issues.

  • June 4, 2019
    Build Yourself Workshop: Setting Ambitious & Creative Career Goals

    Mia Scharphie,  a trained women’s empowerment facilitator has worked on women’s advocacy for over fifteen years. She has run a research effort on women in social impact design for the Harvard Business School, is a founding member of the Equity Roundtable at the Boston Society of Architects, and was named as one of Impact Design Hub’s Social Impact Design 40 under 40. We were delighted to host the Build Yourself Workshop at the Center for Architecture on the 22nd of May.  In this interactive workshop, Mia broke down why the “leadership ambition gap” exists, and how women can move past the obstacles to set and achieve more ambitious goals for themselves. This workshop aimed to create a motivating space for participants to investigate what being more ambitious about their career goals could mean for them—and to leverage both their left and right brains to aim higher. At the same time, participants learnt to avoid burnout by working smarter, not harder, and understand how better time investment builds lasting value. Access to The Ambitious & Creative Goals Slides + the Throughlines Exercise + Mia’s ‘Take Back Your Time’ Checklist can be found here.

  • Leadership Breakfast with Claire Weisz, FAIA

    On May 17, we had the pleasure of having Claire Weisz, FAIA, Principal in Charge at WXY, discuss her career and recent projects. Claire Weisz is a founding partner of WXY, whose work as an architect and urbanist focuses on innovative approaches to public space, structures, and cities. The firm, globally recognized for its place-based approach to architecture, urban design, and planning, has played a vital role in design thinking around resiliency: combining the infrastructure of public space with working districts for and with communities. Weisz was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2017, and was most recently awarded the Medal of Honor from AIANY in 2018.

    Weisz shared projects and collaborations with the Rockaway Boardwalk, the NYC Department of Education, the NYC Department of Parks and Pentagram, to name a few. The lecture was followed by a very interesting Q&A session where topics highlighted included diversity in the workplace, project implementation techniques on a large scale and strategy.


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