October 13, 2022Reading Time: 4 minutes
I have to start by saying that mentoring at Arquitina has been one of the most gratifying and fulfilling professional experiences of my career. Arquitina is a professional leadership organization for emerging Latina/x Women in the field of Architecture with the clear mission of raising the 1% of Latina/x licensed architects in the United States.
From my experience, the road to becoming a licensed professional proved to be a battle of persistence, dedication and overall determination. I wish I had Latina women to look up to in the
architecture field during my journey. For this reason, I have been helping other architects who, like me, face the path to licensure after moving from a foreign country. I have shared my
experiences with the hope that they would help others reach success. I always wanted to make it a point to increase my presence in the Latina/x and Hispanic community and now I am fortunate
to be part of this amazing initiative called Arquitina.
During the Arquitina Spring 2022 Cohort, I was involved as a paired mentor, a guest panelist and a teaching mentor. I still remember vividly feeling the energy at the opening meeting with
all the mentors and mentees. It was eye-opening to be surrounded by Latina/x women with clear, strong visions and exuding the feeling that anything is possible. It was very inspiring and
Every study session with my paired mentee and every interactive discussion was a safe environment where mentors and mentees could feel a great sense of support and belonging.
We were all able to connect with dynamic, brilliant women leaders and aspiring leaders who want to learn, support, and inspire each other.
It felt so relatable because in one way or another, we have all experienced similar frustrations, struggles, setbacks, challenges, and excitements. We are all Latina/x women with career-minded goals, we are full-time employees, mothers, daughters, friends, and professionals seeking a balance in life on the path to licensure. I am passionate about giving practical advice,
seeing women progress, overcoming their fears, and seeing their courage and confidence while celebrating their success.
Not only is Arquitina a forum for enriching the architectural profession where mentees receive valuable guidance from mentors working in related fields like engineering, construction
management, lighting design, and real estate development, it is also a space to connect and engage with Latina/x women leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to grow.
I enjoyed my participation as one of the panelists in a discussion about mindset. I truly believe that mindset is the most important component to incorporate into ARE preparation work. Without
embracing a growth mindset, it is much more difficult to find success. In our discussions, we defined that a growth mindset that allows failure is an opportunity to learn and pivot from our
mistakes. It is important to take on challenging tasks and be willing to work hard to improve; and that obstacles are a chance to experiment and learn how to deal with fears. Coming to terms
with this mindset is the most important first step for emerging professionals to push forward, dismantle barriers and eliminate limiting beliefs.
As a mentor, it is essential to understand this concept to convey to your mentees and motivate them to take the next step. It is also important to recognize that it is about their self-worth, so
when there is some kind of resistance or objection it usually comes out of a deep fear of failure that is rooted in them and is preventing them from achieving their goals and fulfilling their
dreams. “Impostor syndrome” is something that most of us experience. I have come to learn that I am enough and that is all that matters.
Supporting and empowering underrepresented groups through mentorship is not only the right thing to do is also the smart thing to do. The change in our country’s demographics urges us to
invest in powerful strategies to build strong voices and teach leadership within the Latina/x community and I believe that there is strength in numbers.
I am looking forward to participating in the next Arquitina Cohort and connecting with Latina/x women emerging professionals by sharing my experience to help them succeed. Please follow Arquitina on Linkedin HERE.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in AIA Jersey Shore, Diversity, EquityInArchitecture, Women in Architecture | Tagged: #AIANJEDI, #AIANJEquityinArchitecture, #AIAWIANJ, #Arquitina, #diversity, #EDI, #equity, #Inclusion, #Justice, #LatinxArchitects, #WIA, #womeninarchitecture, AngelicaArentAIANCARB | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.