International Women’s Day #BeBoldForChange

Janet Lees Associate Director
As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, it is perhaps a time to reflect on how equal is the environment I work in. “Am I treated fairly?” Working as a female Chartered Architect in what is a male-dominated industry is a challenging role. Often, women work harder, putting in longer hours than their male counterparts in order to be treated equally; this process of overcompensating is both ridiculous and unfair but has been necessary over the years for women to make it to senior positions (and sometimes not so senior positions).

Fortunately for me, Scroxton & Partners is a well-balanced working environment. Whilst considering where to work when relocating to Northamptonshire 3 years ago, the equal representation of gender amongst the technical team was one of the reasons I applied for a role with Scroxton & Partners. I am now in quite a unique position whereby I work in a practice where gender is not an issue. Our technical team is 55% male, 45% female, with women making up 40% of our management team. Even within our administrative team we are gender equal, another anomaly.

Is it worth considering if male-dominated industries are missing out? At Scroxton & Partners we find that having a mixed gender team working on a project directly relates to our residential client base, a high percentage of whom are mixed sex couples. Whilst designing your own home is one of the most exciting and satisfying things you can do it can also be the most daunting, and having a rapport with your Architectural team is vital. We are now starting to see more women in positions of influence within our commercial relationships and so the rapport a balanced office provides can often be as simple as women being able to identify with one another or reassurance that opinions are heard and respected.

We may be a small company but our efforts as an SME can help pave the way for change from the ground up as we grow. Scroxton & Partners do not stick with the quid pro quo by buying into the ‘boys club’ mentality but instead hiring the best person for the job. #BeBoldForChange, you’ll be helping women worldwide and may even be benefiting your business at the same time.

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