Dedicated to advancing gender equity in the workplace, KPF+ invited the online publication’s founder to share the conception of her platform, which spotlights the stories of women in the AEC industry.
Julia described how her upbringing, in a family that moved internationally twice, informed her deep curiosity and ignited a passion for the built environment. Starting at smaller firms after graduating from architecture school, she found it difficult to connect with women mentors to share their experiences. After moving to larger firms, she had the opportunity to be a mentee to more experienced women, which she found both energizing and enlightening. “There are no limits to relationships like these,” Julia said. “You can be a mentor and be mentored at any stage.”
With Madame Architect, she hoped to bring the power of mentorship to all. For four years, the online destination has brought forward stories of women (and some men, in its “Expanding the Conversation” feature) from many career stages and fields related to architecture. Madame Architect aims to keep gender back-of-mind while focusing on each interviewee’s body of work and their life beyond architecture. Through interviews, essays, and conversations that are often deeply personal, the platform spotlights the overarching challenges and triumphs of women in design. Hana Kassem, KPF Design Principal, was interviewed by Julia in 2018, where she discussed the importance of developing one’s voice to help share a vision.
As founder and Editor-in-Chief of Madame Architect, Julia is dedicated to the built environment and the visibility and advancement of the women who shape it. The online destination has shared the stories of more than 300 architects, designers, publicists, and more. Julia is also a trained architect, working as an Associate Principal and Business Development Director at Ennead, where she focuses on the educational, cultural, and healthcare markets nationally.
KPF+ serves as a community within the firm dedicated to advancing gender equality in the workplace, hosting internal events that raise awareness and promote a fair and equitable workplace. Last year, KPF+ invited Libby Sellers to discuss women in design through a lecture titled “We Don’t Embroider Cushions Here: Women in Modern Design.” Learn more about KPF+ and the firm’s other communities here.
Visit Madame Architect here.