Next up in our International Women’s Day series, we have Senior Associate & Project Architect, Mirba Estrellas.
Why do you think it is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?
It’s incredibly important to celebrate International Women’s Day because we need to recognize the accomplishments of amazing women that have made ‘herstory’. But, it’s also a reminder that women can still face discrimination, are denied opportunities, and don’t get their achievements as recognized as easily as their counterparts still in this day and age.
What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women of your age?
I think the biggest issue is transitioning from a person with a career, to a person with a career and child. Particularly in the U.S., as we have a very short paid parental leave compared to other countries. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city and state that has a slightly longer time than other states but, it’s still short in comparison.
Why do we need more women in leadership?
We need more women in leadership until women take up at least half of leadership positions. That would significantly change the climate in terms of equity and representation. Women make up approximately half of architecture students, which is encouraging, yet only 17% of licensed U.S. architects are female and 14% of principals are women.
What advice would you give to young women aspiring to a similar career path?
Seek out mentors, find someone who can share their experiences, and listen to yours. Find a person that has accomplished a career path similar to the one you are pursuing, and shadow them. Seek a mentor outside of your company as well to get another perspective. Make sure to become a mentor as well.
What’s your favorite/most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part is seeing a building come to life, seeing people experience and use it. You need a lot of patience to get there!