Next up in our International Women’s Day series, we have Marcelo Balzano, Vice President & Senior Designer.
Who are the women who inspire you?
Within the SB Architects family, we have the advantage of sharing the workplace with many highly professional and talented women. We can find inspiration in every one of them. In my experience, I’ve found great inspiration working with Shosh (Jorey ‘Shosh’ Friedman, Vice President & Principal) during the last six years, she’s a great leader and a fabulous mentor. Her professionalism, expertness, and leadership capabilities are some of the many talents in her repertoire. I have profound respect and admiration for her.
What does it mean to you, and the industry as a whole, to have more women leadership?
In recent decades, there have been calls for greater gender equality, and although tremendous strides have been made in this aspect, there is still a fundamental lack of women in leadership roles. Our industry will really benefit from more women leaders in many ways; from a measurable impact on any organization; achieving better financial outcomes; and providing better mentorship communication and teamwork enhancements.
In the case of SB Architects’ Miami office, we have the privilege of having two amazing women in leadership positions. Shosh and Pinar (Pinar Harris, Vice President & Principal) are great examples for everyone in the firm. They both demonstrate superior leadership values, passion, enthusiasm, and a capability to take command. They bring a different set of skills, imaginative perspectives, and, importantly, structural, and cultural differences that drive effective solutions.
How, as a man, can you help break down any barriers facing women in the workplace?
To break down the many barriers we see in our industry, there are many ways we can contribute to supporting women in the workplace. The first step is education, if our employees aren’t aware that there’s an issue, they won’t make changes. With clear education and definition, employees can be better prepared to identify bias when they see it or hear it.
We could also improve our recruiting process to be more inclusive, promote a welcoming culture by becoming a champion diversity company. We should work hard to reduce the gender pay gap by promoting an evaluation system that helps standardize the current pay structure to make sure we’re aware of any gender discrepancies.