Real Talk: Sheila Karimi

Real Talk: Sheila Karimi By Megan Berger Our Real Talk series features women and men in engineering and architecture talking about the challenges and less-than-enjoyable experiences often come along with being a woman – or just being different –  in our industries. For Iranian-born Sheila Karimi, a career in engineering was inevitable. Her father, sister,…

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Diversity allies

Diversity allies Architecture+Women NZ Architecture+Women NZ brings together the diverse practices of women trained in the field of architecture and seeks to raise their profile in the public realm. This is done through networks, events, publication and policy, and is free to join. Find out more Diversity Works NZ Diversity Works helps businesses around the…

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Becoming an ally for all

Becoming an ally for all By Megan Berger Lynda Simmons is an ally for women in architecture in every sense of the word. As a sole practitioner, a registered architect and a professional teaching fellow at Auckland University School of Architecture and Planning, she’s exposed to the inner-workings of the industry from top to bottom;…

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Beyond the nine to five

Beyond the Nine to Five By Melanie McDaid Designer and mum Melanie McDaid has just started a new practice, Sloane & Peach, as well as co-founding a platform that is supportive of flexible working for all. Here she talks about the future of balancing work and life. Returning to work after more than a year…

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How can women get ahead? Take a break

How can women get ahead? Take a break By Megan Berger Like many engineers, Sulo Shanmuganathan’s initial interest and draw to the field came from growing up with an engineering parent. Today, she’s the Technical Director at Holmes Consulting in Auckland, but there was a time when Sulo saw academia as her calling. While her…

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Getting the most out of your people

Getting the most out of your people By Megan Berger Rachel Blewden is a people person. She’s drawn to having a greater understanding of how teams and people work, how people utilise space in the world around them and how to best create functional spaces for all. It makes sense then that she was drawn…

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Equity over equality

Equity over equality By Megan Berger As an American who’s worked in the UK and now New Zealand, Julie Stewart brings a unique perspective to the diversity conversation. She’s a mother and a senior architect at Studio Pacific Architecture in Wellington, where she’s worked for three years. Overall, Julie’s experience in the industry has been…

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Driving change: An industry leader’s perspective

Driving change: An industry leader’s perspective By Megan Berger Darryl-Lee Wendelborn is a poster child for female success in engineering. The Rotorua-raised engineer is now Managing Director at BECA, New Zealand’s largest professional services consultancy, overseeing the firm’s New Zealand business. Over the past 22 years, she’s learned the ins and outs of the organisation,…

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Flexible working with Katie Symons

Flexible working with Katie Symons By Megan Berger Katie Symons is a mother of three and a structural engineer at Batchelar McDougall Consulting (BMC) in Christchurch. She’s also clear proof that a flexible work environment can have a huge impact on employees, and more importantly, on their family and home life. Working at BMC for…

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