I just came across this New York Times article about the 24/7 work culture in service industries. Lighting design most definitely falls into this category of professions beholden to the whims of the client.
At Envision Lighting Design, we strive to build a culture that will work both for our team and our clients.
Enlighten: Learn. Forget your preconceived notions. Ban assumptions.
Enhance: Improve. Make it better. Be solutions-oriented.
Enjoy: Have fun. Love the process. Love the final product.
At the start of my career whenever I attended a meeting, I often found myself to be the youngest person and the only woman in the room. Nowadays I am not typically the youngest person in the room, but all too often I am still the only woman.
Why are there so few women in our profession? And what can I do to make sure the ones there are (or the ones who have been) do not get forgotten?
The architecture community is currently in a bit of an uproar over the fact that Denise Scott Brown was not included in her husband and partner Robert Venturi's 1991 Pritzker Prize Award. In fact, Despina Stratigakos recently wrote a wonderful article about "Unforgetting" Women Architects and Architecture Magazine is challenging its readers to recommend a woman architect for a Wikipedia article to be written by the magazine. I even just learned that Frank Lloyd Wright's first employee was a woman architect.
One of my more popular old blog posts includes a little story about a lighting designer named Lesley Wheel. She was the first female architectural lighting designer, and a great mentor to many people. I think so highly of Lesley's ideas and her work that I'm currently helping to author a book about her design philosophies.
What are you doing to encourage women in our profession? What else needs to change so that the lighting design profession doesn't follow architecture in overlooking this talented segment of our membership? Are we too late? The Wikipedia entry under "Lighting Design" lists 13 men and one woman, the talented Motoko Ishii of Japan. The IES, a 107-year-old organization has only had three female presidents. Maybe lighting designers have some Wikipedia editing to do, as well.
Envision Lighting Design, LLC is now an official WBE in St. Louis. We are happy to announce that our application for WBE status was confirmed and accepted by the St. Louis Airport Authority, effective December 18, 2012. So if excellent lighting design wasn't enough, now ELD helps you fulfill your WBE participation requirements, too!
Envision Lighting Design, LLC is also a State of Missouri certified WBE.
Last week I had my site visit from the State of Missouri OEO inspector. Some of you have asked whether or not I am a WBE (Woman-owned Business Enterprise.) Good news! She successfully confirmed that day that I am a woman and that I own Envision Lighting Design, LLC.
Now that ENvisionLD is a State of Missouri certified WBE, what other certifications are important to pursue? I know that there are Federal Woman-owned Business listings too, plus other State of Missouri options. Which ones have reciprocity? Which ones do you consider important? Let us know!
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC