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#ChooseToChallenge - Hawkins\Brown celebrates International Women's Day 2021 \

To mark #IWD2021, we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate our female members of staff - asking them to share the joys, challenges and role models that they encounter in the world of architecture.

Staff also shared their IWD '#Choose to Challenge' selfies - demonstrating their commitment to challenging inequality, calling out bias, questioning stereotypes, and promoting inclusivity.

What do you like about working in architecture?

Architects are, by their nature, positive people. I love the fact we are always thinking about the future and how to make it better. There is an optimism in all that we do. Hazel York (Managing Partner)

It’s a multidisciplinary profession – you are constantly learning through collaboration with your peers, consultants and clients. Eduarda Vieira (Architect)

No two projects are the same, each requires a unique design process. I have the opportunity to make a positive change in the world through my work. Phoebe Stevens (Architectural Assistant Part 1)

We get to analyse our own behaviours and how society is evolving. For example, we all understand that cities are still not safe for women, especially at night – but how can we design safer cities? Concha Aranda Iglesias (Urban Designer)

What is a particular challenge you have faced in your career?

Being underestimated. Francesca Roberts (Architect)

Working in very challenging, male-dominated environments – I was often excluded from social events, team-building activities, progression opportunities, and even from receiving bonuses. Lauren Coward (HR Manager)

Narrow-minded opinions and preconceptions about what interior designers can contribute to the built environment. Morag Morrison (Partner, Interior Sector Lead)

Who are your role models?

I’d probably say any Essex girl done good! Hazel York

My Mother. She's like a younger Iris Apfel - business savvy, confident, caring and just lights up a room. Lauren Coward

Susan Sontag, Cindy Sherman, and colourists Louisa Hutton and David Batchelor. Morag Morrison

Climate activists, body positivity advocates, Black Lives Matter- anyone who is standing up for positive changes in the world. Phoebe Stevens

Our gender and our job titles are just a couple of facets of our identity - do you have other “labels” that you identify with?

I am a sister, a joker, and a very silly dancer. Eduarda Vieira

I’m an environmentalist - passionate about combating climate change, and doing the best with my skills and the opportunities in which I have to use them. Louisa Bowles

Mother, wife, sister, cousin, friend, gardening buddy, colour advisor, mentor, cook - but always Scottish. Morag Morrison

Friend, student, artist, seamstress, stitcher, maker, designer. Phoebe Stevens

Not just a woman, not just an architect - just some of the many roles, labels and identities that the female staff of Hawkins\Brown are proud to call themselves.

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