Construction Today - November 2017 - 21
contribution is based on expertise, personal
conduct and people skills, and is recognized
and accepted exclusive of gender, which
neither requires nor deserves recognition.
needs to develop productive working
The increase in women joining the ranks
of architects presages more appearances on
construction jobsites, which should make
their presence less extraordinary for executives. The National Council of Architectural
Registration Boards headquartered in Washington, D.C., reports that in 2016, "women
accounted for 36 percent of newly licensed
architects" and that "nearly two in five new
architects are women."
Architects, whether specializing in
design or other disciplines, have undergone
intensive study and experience before they
can earn licensure. The NCARB reports that
licensing of architects marks the culmination of more than 12 years of education and
experience "from the time a student enrolls
in school to the moment they receive the
license." Architects regardless of gender bring
that experience and expertise along with
creativity to the jobsite, and deserve respect
At times, there may be a difference of
opinion between the architect and executive over issues arising during construction. Women architects understand
that they may have to handle resolution
of such problems differently than their
male counterparts. In a male-dominated
requires an environment of
professionalism on every site.
environment, an "in-your-face" mentality is likely to be counterproductive especially if that attitude is expressed by a female. Yet
the architect knows there will be times when she should stand her
ground. When that happens, the challenge will be to state the case
when necessary without being offensive. That's good advice for
both genders, but especially for women, who sense the pejoratives
often associated with members of their sex who speak their minds.
Diplomatic resolution is essential.
Amy Hood, RA, LEED AP
BD+C is a sustainability leader and senior
architect with BHDP
affect the key behaviors
necessary to achieve
strategic results for their
Build a professional relationship
Women architects understand the importance of looking past gender issues at the office and on construction sites. To move forward,
construction management needs to develop productive working
relationships with architects, regardless of whether the person on
the other side of the table is a man or a woman. For those executives unaccustomed to dealing with the latter in an architect design
capacity, consider the following suggestions:
1. Start with respect - Remember that standing across from you is
a licensed professional who has spent years honing her design
and other architectural skills.
2. Don't be dismissive of her opinions - She is as much a professional as you are.
3. Don't patronize - Please - no pink hardhats or affectionate
terms such as "baby" or "sweetheart."
4. Remember you're on the same team - Construction management and architects bring so much to the table. Don't allow
awkward feelings about working with a woman architect to
impede a project's progress.
clients in the workplace,
higher education, industrial, retail and science
markets. For more
BHDP Architecture. Tel:
(513) 271-1634. Website:
Regardless of the level of experience, architects and executives can
learn from each other, especially when both recognize each other as
knowledgeable professionals and treat one another with mutual respect. In that way, biases about gender should never get in the way.
NOVEMBER 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM