Process of understanding and exchanging information that it is understood. Simple enough, but trending hashtags #metoo and the topic of sexual harassment tell a story of extreme communication inability on part of people with power. Mumbling no ends up meaning yes, where everything is affirmative unless you loudly said a no, and loud no means shut doors on opportunities. Hollywood leading ladies shared the horrors and manipulations that happened behind the scene, but what about other professions?
Architecture is no longer gender defined on the macro level, but microaggressions based on gender, race, ethnicity, immigration status, marital status, caregiving status and sexual orientation still have a long way to go before we level the field. A woman in hardhat and boots is still called beautiful, and a mother in architecture is still assumed to have placed her ambitions on hold while publicly forced to answer questions about her child care arrangements.
Communication is lacking.
Our ambitions, our achievements, and our voices are not heard the way they are expressed by us. If they are heard, they are not acted upon. If they are acted upon, and if they are successful, the limelight conveniently neglects the fact that there is a woman in charge. We are bypassed for promotions, awards and accolades until we demand what’s rightfully ours. Lower wages, less growth opportunities and never a complete credit. This bais and dispratity definitely wasn’t communicated to us when we were struggling to finish the credits for our graduation or working on our AREs for licensure.
Recently I read about amplification strategy that female staffers in the White House used during Obama administration.. “Female staffers in the White House adopted a meeting strategy they called “amplification”: When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.”
What if we amplify?
#projectamplify. This Women’s History Month, I started “Project Amplify” to share the achievements of contemporary women in architecture by sharing links to podcasts featuring them and their publications. The aim is to amplify the voice enough to ensure recognition of the talents of the women in architecture around us, managing projects that require time commitments, volunteering at AIA to further the profession, mentoring juniors to help them ease into the profession, leading efforts to bring equity and equality in the profession, and being that everyday role model who someone can aspire to be. They exist, and it’s time everyone knows they exist. 31 contemporary women in architecture that I see as everyday role models the world should know about will be showcased on my Twitter account.
Follow them, know them and share about them. Amplify, because it helps communicate.
Edited to add my Twitter moment with all the women I “amplified” during #projectamplify:
Read about “Communications” from #Architalks by other architects:
- James Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey) “Communication in a Yada Yada World”
- Eric Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome) “Talk, Write, Draw — A Com Hat Trick”
- Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel) “Architalks 36: Communication”
- Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum) “Tips for Communicating with Your Architect, Interior Designer, or Landscape Architect”
- Lee Calisti – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti) “what does it communicate?”
- Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz) “Communication – What, How, Why?”
- Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA) “Architalks #36: Project Amplify”
- Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign) “Who’s Bad!”
- Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark) “Communication”
- Jeff Echols – Architect of the Internet (@Jeff_Echols) “Communication and the Question of Relevance”
- Samantha R Markham – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch) “Why Communication Skills are a Must for Aspiring Architects”
- Jane Vorbrodt – Kuno Architecture (@janevorbrodt) “Explain Yourself…”
- Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC): Types of communication in architecture