Celebrating International Women's Day

March 8, 2019: News, People

Friday the 8th March celebrates International Women's Day, recognising the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year's theme, #BalanceforBetter, focuses on how we can accelerate gender parity. To support and acknowledge International Women's Day, we introduce a few of the many talented women at Warren and Mahoney.

International Womens Day 2

Katherine Skipper
Principal Wellington

What were some of your key highlights and observations over the past 12 months?

Looking back to March last year, I was thinking about what role I wanted to play in the firm as I felt that I wanted and could give more.  Not long after that I was asked to take on the role of Studio Principal, and with it, a role on the Board of WNZ. This was (and still is) an amazing opportunity, and of course I accepted the role. So the past year has been one continuous highlight in that regard, particularly because the role gives me the opportunity to contribute more strategically to the future of the firm, both in planning but also in achieving our vision.

Another key highlight was the opening of the Art Gallery at Te Papa last March. Ralph Roberts, Adam Parkes and I were privileged to attend the opening night dinner with the client team, Te Papa staff and the opening artists and their supporters. It was a highly creative room. The menu was developed for the event by local restaurant Logan Brown and each course was inspired by an artwork within the collection. Just stunning. 

On a personal note, this January I took my girls tramping around Lake Waikaremoana for five days. The serenity and majesty of that place is still sitting inside me and provides a pool of resilience for putting those busy days we all have in their place.

 

Celebrating International Women's Day

Patricia Sarmiento
Senior Architect Melbourne

What do you enjoy most about working at W+M?  

The office culture and the constant pursuit of design excellence.

What projects have you most enjoyed working on at W+M? 

All of them so far but, to narrow it down, I would say Hampton Street and Spanish club. 

Hampton Street because I have been involved in its inception and early stages and, on the other side of the spectrum, Spanish Club because it is heading into construction and finally becoming a reality.

Which female do you most admire? 

Dr. Tererai Trent, one of today's most internationally recognised voices for quality education and women's empowerment.   Sometimes we lose sight of how fortunate we are and of all the good opportunities that we have and so, when I listen to her story and see how far she has come, it makes me reflect on the potential of your goals and dreams.  It was such an inspiration to hear that she wrote her dreams down and buried them in the ground, not knowing that years later she would have accomplished all those dreams. It was not smooth sailing for her but her courage made it happen. 

Since then, I strongly believe in the importance of writing down your goals and reflecting on who you want to be in the future, knowing that your past does not define you.

Link to her site: https://tereraitrent.org/

What advice would you give to our graduates/junior staff starting out in their careers?  

My best advice is to not label yourself and to start everyday fresh with renewed energies to keep on growing and improving.

 

Hayley Fisher
Associate - Architecture Christchurch

What were some of your key highlights and observations over the past 12 months?

Adding a new member to our family has made for a wonderful (and challenging) year. 

Having time away from the office does allow an opportunity to reflect on priorities, on how I deal with challenges and focusing in on what I really enjoy. I am looking forward to getting back into the Warren and Mahoney team as well as working on a sustainable balance between home and work life.

 

Celebrating International Women's Day

Kylie Adamson
Senior Technician Christchurch

What do you enjoy most about working at W+M?

The rigour with which we approach our projects.

What projects have you most enjoyed working on at W+M?

Working with the team on the Queenstown Country Club was a good introduction to Warren and Mahoney.  Learning how to utilise Revizto on the 1 Queen Street project has been a rewarding process as well. Overall, the trick is in finding and cultivating joy in each project.

Which female do you most admire?

Any woman who is able to balance humility and ego.

What advice would you give to our graduates/junior staff starting out in their careers?

Plan your work, then work to your plan.

 

Cheryl Kilpatrick
Associate - Studio Manager Christchurch

What were some of your key highlights and observations over the past 12 months?

I’m all about people and over the past 12 months I have been very fortunate to spend time in some of our other studios.  I’m currently on secondment to our Sydney studio which has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know our Australian colleagues better.  I’ve also recently spent time in our Wellington studio, and have time scheduled to be in our Queenstown studio next month.   We are lucky to be working with such talented and all-round great individuals that make up our “one studio”. 

It’s been a busy year both professionally and personally.  In my personal life I got engaged to be married and I now have a second step-grandchild! Professionally I have particularly enjoyed being involved with the values launch across the practice.  The highlight for me was our studio panel discussion and pecha kucha on adventurousness.  It was a celebration of our people and stimulated thought provoking discussion following.  A great opportunity to hear and learn from inspirational stories and get to know each other better. 

 

Celebrating International Women's Day

Amy Phillips
Group Brand and Communications Officer 

What do you enjoy most about working at W+M? 

The fact that the work we do matters.   Good design can fundamentally improve the lives of people. Not all New Zealanders can afford an architecturally designed home, but in the work we do, we can create public spaces, universities, hospitals and sometimes even motorway tunnels that are thoughtfully designed, highly functional and speak to our aspirations as a country. We design spaces and places that enable a quality of experience that make us better as individuals, as communities and as a nation.

What projects have you most enjoyed working on at W+M?

I'm fortunate to work at the very front-end of our business - sustaining and cultivating our reputation and helping win great work. However, I think the most significant project I have led has been our internal brand project – the Identity Matters book. Our people are W+M. How we work, the decisions we make every day are the things that drive our business forward. Through our people, we drive client advocacy and demonstrate great design thinking. Our values guide us in this process and connect us together. I've been very privileged to help create this framework in partnership with all of our brilliant people.

Which female do you most admire? 

My first boss - Janet Allen-Rogers. A phenomenal mind who became globally respected in the male-dominated world of advertising. Unfortunately she passed away at the age of 40 due to cancer but she has left an indelible mark on the people that knew and loved her. 

What advice would you give to our graduates/junior staff starting out in their careers? 

Be curious.  

 

Marie-Clare Henderson
Architect Queenstown

What do you enjoy most about working at W+M?

The diversity of interesting projects we're involved in and of course the people – a good team is critical both to the projects and to enjoying being at the office.

What projects have you most enjoyed working on at W+M?

Lake Pukaki house and the Cardrona childcare addition  - they're both complete now and it's so satisfying seeing the effort which has gone into them coming through in the finished product. 

Which female do you most admire?

In general, perhaps Jane Goodall – she's dedicated her life to something she cares about and in doing so revolutionised the way we look at a whole corner of the natural world. In Architecture I'll put forward Alison Brooks; her work is both beautiful and driven by a clear social conscience. 

What advice would you give to our graduates/junior staff starting out in their careers?

Find and hold on to the values that matter the most to you. They'll give you motivation and your work integrity.   

 

Celebrating International Women's Day

Julia McPherson
Associate – Interiors Wellington

What do you enjoy most about working at W+M?

The people. This ranges from our teams, clients, external consultants and contractors. The interior team we have in Wellington is a powerhouse. The team has  grown significantly in size since I started here five years ago. We're no longer a rarity. 

What projects have you most enjoyed working on at W+M?

They all have highlights but I always love the site component and the point when the client moves in and is working in the way they described in briefing. 

Which female do you most admire?

I'm a little obsessed with Ray Eames. But it's not the superstar women that I get inspiration from. I feel like I'm surrounded by exceptional women in my work, in my family and with my friends. 

What advice would you give to our graduates/junior staff starting out in their careers?

Ask questions. I spent a long time not knowing what a GA plan meant, then one day I saw General Arrangement Plan written and I clicked. I should have just asked...

Take notes, you can't ever remember everything discussed.

When you get on site make sure you introduce yourself and get along with the people building your design. They'll be the ones advising the site foreman to ring you before they build something a bit funky.