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Women in Architecture Lecture - Please Don’t Leave: A Conversation on Retention & Benefits
March 24
6:30-8:00p (due to building security, doors will close at 7:00p)

At HDR, 3001 Washington Blvd., Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22201. Parking is available at a discounted rate of $3 per hour after 6:00p. HDR is also accessible on metro, Clarendon Station, Orange and Silver lines.
Office culture in architecture firms is known for long hours, low pay and lack of flexibility. This is due to design projects with unrealistic deadlines, low fees and bad management. These factors ultimately contribute to architectural professionals leaving the field.

This lecture will explore human resource management best practices for small, medium and large architecture firms. Can incentivizing strategic project planning, using better technology and increasing hourly pay contribute to the retention of talented professionals?

Learning Objectives:

• Participants will examine why women leave the architecture profession and consider the best methods for retaining them.

• Participants will compare and contrast the benefits and disadvantages of working for small, medium and large firms, and consider the cultural dynamics between genders.

• Participants will examine how employee benefits differ at small, medium and large firms; what benefits may help retain women; and how small architectural firms, with less than 20 staff, operate without dedicated human resources staff.

• Participants will discuss updates from the Equity in Design Committee and Women in Architecture Survey.


• Theresa del Ninno, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C
Vice President/Secretary, Maginniss + del Ninno Architects

Theresa del Ninno attended the University of Notre Dame, where she received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 1981. She has substantial international experience. In 2006 she became a principal of the firm, and has designed and managed educational, commercial and residential projects that have been recognized with design awards.

• Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP (Provisional)
Senior Partner, Little Architects

Carolyn Rickard-Brideau is a Senior Partner and leader in WELL certification for Little, an expanded services commercial architecture and engineering firm. Carol has been the Office President for the Washington, DC office of Little for the past 17 years.

• Teresa Thiele
Recruiter, HDR

Terry Thiele started Transept Recruiters in 2007 in order to combine her two loves – design and recruiting – to provide a specialized resource for architecture firms seeking qualified candidates. In August 2015, Terry joined HDR at their DC office, where she specializes in architectural recruiting across the US and abroad. HDR is also an employee-owned A/E/C firm with 9600+ total employees in the US and abroad.

• Rosa Sheng, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (via Skype)
Senior Associate, Treasurer, AIA SF Board of Directors 2016-2018, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Rosa Sheng joined Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in 1997 and became a founding member of the San Francisco office in 1999 while serving as Project Architect for Pixar Animation Studio’s Headquarters in Emeryville. With 20 years’ experience, Rosa has led a variety of award winning and internationally acclaimed design projects, which range from the aesthetically minimal, highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high profile retail stores to the innovative LEED NC-GOLD Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College.

1.5 AIA LUs. $15. Prepaid registration is required below one day prior to the lecture.