One of the most exciting and gratifying parts of serving on the Yale Law Women Board is connecting with the leadership of other outstanding women’s organizations. We are perpetually inspired and invigorated by the terrific work of our peer organizations at other law schools and throughout legal and non-legal professions.
Earlier this year, we received an invitation to speak with the members of an emerging Women in Architecture group based in New York City. Those members had decided that Yale Law Women was an exemplar of how a women’s group can work and what it can accomplish. The outgoing and incoming Chairs traveled to the Big Apple to answer a cascade of questions about our organization.
That conversation gave us important perspective on our core advocacy initiative, Top Ten. The members of the Women in Architecture group shared the challenges of balancing work and life in the architecture profession – challenges that resulted in many of their architecture school classmates leaving the profession entirely once they started families. And unlike the legal profession where work-life balance conversations are front and center, these women felt that their challenges received little or no attention.
We spent most of the evening discussion how to export our Top Ten initiative to the architecture profession – that is, how to evaluate work-life balance and gender equity policies at architecture firms and how to create positive incentives for meaningful change. We hope these efforts will help the architecture profession engage in an important dialogue about making the profession accessible and sustainable for architects of all genders.