Last Saturday, March 4th, as part of its third annual seminar, BEAT featured ERA Project Manager Amy Norris as part of a program of female architects, landscape architects, and interior designers based in Toronto. The panel spoke to students, recent graduates and young practitioners about their professional experiences working in and establishing design practices in Toronto in industries that presents both challenges and opportunities for women. Amy also presented information about newly established groups within the OAA and RAIC that focus on issues of interest to emerging practitioners in the design industries. The panel was made up of sole practitioners, partners in design firms and academics. The event took place at The Gladstone Hotel’s North Ballroom.
The event was scheduled as a prelude to International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th. Given the findings of recent surveys that show a decrease in the percentage of women who study architecture versus those who are currently practicing, and the number of firm partners and principals who are women, the seminar’s mandate was: 1. To provide insight into the professional histories of leading female design practitioners, and 2. To promote mentorship of the current cohort of women transitioning into the profession through introductions and networking opportunities. Underlying these goals is the understanding that people need to see themselves reflected in the leadership of their chosen profession in order to garner a sense of acceptance and the possibility for success for their future careers.
Kate Fox-Whyte, Principal, Foxwhyte Landscape Architecture
Irene Gardpoit, Director and Principal Architect, Uufie
Pat Hanson, Principal, gH3
Marianne McKenna, Founding Partner, KPMB
Lola Sheppard, Associate Professor, Waterloo Architecture and Co-Founder, Lateral Office