International Women’s Day: Career-Defining Moments

To mark International Women’s Day, we asked our female leaders to share a key moment that they feel has defined their career up to now.

Chiara Calufetti-Lim

A key career-defining moment for me, was when I decided, boldly, to make the move from a small, boutique studio, into a larger firm in the corporate world. At first, the change was intimidating, but I realized quickly how large the pool of resources available to me was, and the incredible variety of scale and project type I was able to design and manage. In WATG, I recognized the amazing opportunity for growth, it completely changed the direction of my career.

I’m so thankful for the talented women I’ve had the opportunity to meet, work with and be inspired by over the years!

Helen Cheung

There are many moments that have helped to define my career, but the one stand-out occasion is when I took my son and husband to walk around a 9,000-acre community I had planned and designed, just after the grand opening.

As I was telling them all the stories and intricacies behind each design detail, we heard people around us discussing and appreciating how the town was creating a unique and enjoyable lifestyle for them. It was a moment when the two sides of my life that I’ve been struggling to balance for many years came together: my family and my childhood dream. That moment gave me a sense of assurance that I was doing ok, that I was working in the career that I was destined for.

Christine McGinnis

Frankly, I don’t feel like I’ve had it yet and I’m not sure I ever will. Make no mistake, I’ve had fantastic moments throughout my career, without question, but as a designer and I think, as a woman, to identify a defining moment implies a degree of self-satisfaction and somehow a sense of restriction.

I’m always pressing on forward, you can’t rest on your laurels, you have to experience the full range of emotion and ambition on offer. I’m never satisfied, defining moments for me are fleeting and elusive, I’m always keen to see what’s next!

I take great pleasure in training staff, seeing them stretch their wings and create beautiful things. I’m always immensely proud when clients are happy with our work, and I’m deeply touched when a guest experiences one of our spaces and smiles. When I witness a genuine connection with our design, it reminds me why we do what we do, and that makes it all worthwhile.

Tiffany Lee

I’m sure every woman has had a point in their careers where they were given a new, exciting opportunity, and it’s either sink or swim. The moment you realize you have owned that opportunity, that you are actually ‘swimming’ is fantastic!

Nicole Hammond

My career-defining moment is a simple one: the day I became qualified. “Architect” is a title protected by law, so to go from having to use a lengthy description of what I do to a single word was certainly career defining. There seems to be a tendency to make job titles sound important by adding more and more words to them, but for me, that one word says it all.

I-Jin Chew

The day that I was recognized as a practice leader at WATG, stands out as one of my highlights. I’m so privileged to be part of a company that celebrates collaboration, diversity and equal opportunity. I’m fortunate to be able to connect and collaborate with immensely talented individuals across the globe, all who are striving for our collective best, they inspire me each day! Happy International Women’s Day to all!

Monica Cuervo

“Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.” is one of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes, and one that I have applied many times throughout my career.