International Women’s Day 2021 | Pinar Harris
What attracted you to work in architecture?
I enjoy the merging of the creative side of my brain, with the technical and analytical side. There’s a distinct fusion of the two that comes together for me in architecture and it’s constantly evolving through experiences from one project to the next.
Describe a typical working day for you…
It starts on my yoga mat at 5:30 am, and I’m out of the door by 7 am to try and capitalize on that first quiet hour of the day to catch up on what’s happening in the industry, news affecting some of our different clients (potential and current). And then it’s a deep dive into my daily roles and responsibilities with project team coordination, outreach, management/mentoring, working with our clients, and business development. And most importantly, I’m always eager to get back home to my family.
Can you tell us about 1-2 challenges you faced throughout the course of your career, and how you overcame them?
Earlier in my career, I lost my mentor suddenly and needed to stand on my own two feet. Navigating the growing pains, I was experiencing in my career evolution by myself enabled me to overcome my own insecurities and, ultimately, become more confident.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I’m proud of the ongoing relationship we’ve created with the Kolter Group. I’d like to think they view SB Architects as a trusted partner, with a reliable relationship. Working with them over the years has provided the opportunity to work on numerous truly signature projects that have defined the skylines of many of Florida’s major cities, including 100 Las Olas, which opened last year.
What do you see as some of the challenges facing women in Architecture?
There has been a surge of women taking on leadership roles, but we still have a way to go. We need to make sure we have women in ‘decision maker’ roles and strive to maintain an equal seat at the right tables to effect change and make an impact in the field. Women are currently achieving this goal, and it’s evolving one meeting at a time, one day at a time.
What advice would you give to young women aspiring to a similar career path?
Stay with it, not every day is going to be amazing. You must put in the hard work. This is a very tough field and you have to learn to maintain a belief in yourself, your growth, and your development. Learn to trust your ability and talent, and become comfortable in your own skin.
Lastly, what three skills do you think are essential to be a great leader?
Having integrity in leading by example. Being humble yet confident enough to know when to apply your skills, but also recognize those skills of your colleagues and enabling them to have a voice. And, just plain hard work.
Interview with: Pinar Harris, Principal and Vice President