A Chat about Alicia Ponce’s Work
Tell us a bit about the industry you are in and the work you focus on.
Architecture is an industry where we get to define a city’s culture and history. We design places for people to work, learn, heal, and enjoy. My firm, APMonarch, is a Chicago based architecture firm with an ethos to design healthy buildings and equitable communities. We love design and designing for people through a lens of social and environmental responsibility.
Share with us a special moment in your work career that shows the impact you have.
My experience as an architect and small business owner, along with my journey toward professional licensure, compelled me to launch my non-profit Arquitina in 2020. Arquitina has a mission to raise the 1% of licensed Latina architects in the US while creating inclusive and equitable opportunities for women of color in the industry.
What advice do you give to women starting their careers in your industry?
Always have mentors and sponsors that will advocate for you and help you to make advancements in your career. Effective sponsors are those that will make introductions so you’re able to reach your full potential, publicly celebrate your accomplishments and contributions to the industry, invite you to the table and pay your worth.
What are some struggles that you have as a woman in your respective industry?
Access to opportunities to move up in the industry are slow and limited. The wage gap also poses struggles that others do not experience. Latinas earn, on average, 54 cents for every dollar a man earns, (77 cents White Women and 64 cents for Black Women) while working the same hours in an industry that demands long hours. These are just a few factors that impact the long-term trajectory for many women in the field. By having open and transparent conversations about this we enrich the industry so much more.
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