From Empowering to EMPOWERED - WiA's inaugural Mini Conference

To inspire, promote, encourage, and empower women in the design industry – that was the goal of the first ever AIA Dallas Women in Architecture’s Empowering Conference. It was a lofty goal, to have a half day conference filled with incredible speakers and discussions that would accomplish the mission for the day. Months of planning and coordination, tons of preparation and communication, and the big day finally arrived.

On Friday, September 29, over 100 men and women got together to attend a variety of sessions and hear multiple speakers representing different firms, backgrounds, and experience levels. Lisa Lamkin, FAIA, kicked off the day with an incredible speech that “Set the Table” for the rest of the day’s events. Attendees then got to choose from a multitude of session topics that could benefit any experience level and age. “Reshaping your Career”, “The Power of Soft Skills”, and “Finding Your Voice” were just a few of the amazing session topics covered by our speakers. The Panel Discussion proved to be one of the favorite events of the day as attendees were able to hear insights and advice from Jane Landry, FAIA, Zaida Basora, FAIA, and Jennifer Workman, AIA. Jane, Zaida, and Jennifer were able to share their career experiences and discuss the unique challenges and differences each has faced in their generation. And all three reminded us why architecture is such an remarkable field to be in.

The day concluded with our Keynote Speaker, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA. Elizabeth is an incredible example of a woman that has truly empowered herself and others around her. Her inspiring keynote speech about diversity and equality in architecture and the importance of our field made us all ready to get up and get to work!

At the end of the day, I think it’s safe to say that WiA accomplished the goal of inspiring, promoting, encouraging, and empowering women. We hope that each man and woman that left felt excited and ready to tackle their careers and to reach for their dreams. And now, WiA is excited and ready to make the Empowering Conference even bigger and better next year.

Thank you to all of our Speakers and Sponsors for making this day possible! We truly appreciate your efforts in making our WiA Empowering Conference a success!

Lisa Lamkin, FAIA of BRW Architects
Amy Rogers, CCC-SLP & B. Carole Steadham, SDA/C, Hon. AIA of Placement by Design
Vibhuti (Vickie) Patel, LEED AP BD+C of HKS, Inc.
Mahbuba Khan, AIA, NCARB, LEED® AP BD+C of MnKhan Architects & City of Dallas
Kate Aoki, Assoc. AIA of DSGN Associates
Cindy Simpson, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C of Gensler
Laura Juarez Baggett, AIA of Domiteaux + Baggett Architects, PLLC
Vandana Nayak, AIA, LEED AP of Perkins + Will
Jane Landry, FAIA of Landry and Landry, Architects and Planners
Zaida Basora, FAIA of Huitt-Zollars
Jennifer Workman, AIA of GFF Architects
Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA of Richter Architects


Follow this link to see more photos from the event.


Samantha Markham
Contributed by:
Samantha Markham

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Inaugural Attendees + Speakers
Keynote Speaker, Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA
Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion audience
Opening Remarks by Lisa Lamkin, FAIA
Cindy W. Simpson
Vandana Nayak, AIA