Fabulous, feminine women – let’s fly together
So we all know that architecture is a male dominated profession. I mean after 42 years in the you’d think that I would at least smell signs of impending chauvinism! And when I did, it would roll off my back or only exact a momentary sigh of frustration.
But POW a younger male colleague you are doing business with, first criticizes what you present, then sells you down the river to the client, and then lies and finally feels empowered to deprecatingly wag a finger and tell you to “stop your nonsense”!
And in an instant you are back to the foetal position that the professor in South Africa put you into when he announced that the girls had taken valuable places in his class and we needed to live up to the sacred cathedral of architectural school.
Leaving South Africa after the Soweto riots over the heinous pointlessness and hatred that seemed to have no end, and coming to the “land of the free” was also a rude awakening. And this too, we all thought was flattening. And POW again – this is also now on its head.
I keep telling myself that out of this whole time in our cocoons there will be butterflies. New and wonderful ideas will fly to a new reality. And I still am looking up to look for their flight. But the dark flip side has also become so very much darker. The entitlement of the chauvinist seems to be the flavor of the day.
The client who will listen to a male architect and contractor argue, but can’t handle a woman correcting a contractors mistake on site, and then be convinced to accept not only a mistake but really poor work.
The colleague who knows one way of doing things, can not release grip tight control and absolutely can’t handle new technology or God forbid creativity from his female partner. And then FLOTUS who leads this poor pack of angry white men in their insurrection.
We, as professional, interesting, fabulous feminine women have the opportunity to reverse our 80’s response to don suits and imitate men and to show our entire fabulousness together. Not in isolation, but with the same sense of entitlement and confidence as we promote each other, and as we welcome ALL contributions it is with the understanding that it is with a welcome and not an entitlement.
I have been a member of numerous women’s organizations over the years, they are really great and very inspiring and supportive but its more than that. We need to informally seek each other out for work and play. Not to the exclusion – I mean I love the guys working for me, and my partner in LA, but to find those who can be both supported and fly with you . Almost all of the women I have worked with over the years have multi tasked their way and ferreted endlessly for the very best. And it is this, with whomever we work for, or with, that I believe to be essential.
Joy, discovery, fun, open, aspiration and always supportive inter promotion.
No lies, no deprecation, no status and only redirected anger to what really matters.
So bring on your dreams and lets fly together – whomever you vote for…