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WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2021

Mentor / Mentee Relationship: Taylor, Rebecca, and Laura March 11, 2021

(L-R): Taylor Heim, Rebecca McCarthy, Laura Wu


WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2021

“New to the company, I signed up for the Dattner mentorship program, hoping to meet a few colleagues and find someone to show me the best lunch spots around midtown. What I found instead were two friends to navigate my career path with. As our jobs changed from in person to remote, this friendship became even more valuable. Once a month I was able to look forward to seeing friends from the office that I didn’t regularly see. We could celebrate accomplishments together, stress over the uncertainty of the industry, learn new tips and tricks, and just check in on one another. Although a remote mentorship might not be as organic as those founded through working together or becoming friends at the office, this mentorship became something I could really rely on in a year of uncertainty.

Taylor Heim is an Architect. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Tennessee.

As a mentor to Laura and me, Rebecca has kept us in touch with construction from home. While we both spend our days in design phases, she has prepared us for what to expect next as a woman on a job site. She has an abundance of shop drawings and photographs to share in almost any conversation which have given us a confidence in construction literacy that we hadn’t been exposed to yet in our careers. Her passion for architecture ignites a curiosity for us to dive deeper and learn more about what we are drawing. I have now worked at Dattner remotely, longer than in the office. Luckily, my friendship with Rebecca and Laura has helped keep me grounded and connected. We’ve only met once as a group in person, and I can’t wait to see our friendship come full circle someday when we can get coffee together again.” — Taylor Heim RA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP


WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2021

“I remember that when the three of us entered the Morgan Library for our first Mentorship meeting, the high ceiling café was bright with sunshine streaming in from above. We sat at a stylish white café table and ordered muffins and scones from the waitress, while sipping coffee and tea. We talked about our goals for the year, about our significant others and our love of indoor plants. We were excited for the warm spring days ahead. We planned a picnic lunch in March for our next meeting.

Rebecca McCarthy is a Designer. She received her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Ohio State University.

Our next meeting would turn out to be very different than we had imagined. In late March, we logged into a video call on Microsoft Teams, and talked about the first two weeks away from the office. I found our shared experiences working from home surprisingly comforting. After a year working in construction administration, I found the renderings, plans and details that Taylor and Laura shared with me from their projects refreshing. It gave me a chance to reflect on the way details in the field relate directly to details being drawn in the office. Their questions challenged me to understand my own project in more depth. By the end of the summer, our video calls had found a new rhythm. We talked about our projects, reviewed construction photos, and speculated about the future. It is easy to feel alone during this very remote and socially distant time, but as Taylor and Laura spoke about everyday tasks and deadlines while trying not to disrupt the zoom calls of nearby roommates, I felt a commonality in our similar work from home settings, almost as if we were all still sharing the same office. Their perspectives and insights continue to make mentoring feel like a two-way street. I am learning how to be a better leader, listener, and designer each time we meet. I look forward to a day when we can sit together once again at the Morgan Library, and talk about how much we have grown and learned since that first lunch we spent together.” — Rebecca McCarthy


WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2021

“When people think of a mentor, typically they think of someone older and more experienced, who is much higher up on the career ladder than they are. However, it can be equally valuable to have mentors who are similar to you in age and maybe only a couple of steps ahead of you in their careers. These mentors can act as “copilots,” who help you navigate the workplace and share parallel experiences to guide you. Rebecca and Taylor have both been great ‘copilots.’ Over the past year, they have become an important support system to turn to for workplace advice, to talk through projects, and also a source of emotional support and encouragement during these trying times. Particularly in a male-dominated industry like construction, it is so helpful to have a small group of professional women that you can rely on and mutually learn from. It feels incredibly empowering to be journeying alongside them both as we all move forward in our careers.” — Laura Wu Laura Wu is a Designer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Dartmouth College and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University.

For more information on our participants, please visit: https://www.dattner.com/people/team.

Profile for Dattner Architects

Women's History Month: Mentor / Mentee Relationship — Taylor, Rebecca, and Laura  

In recognition of Women's History Month, Dattner Architects is celebrating our women architects and designers by highlighting the relationsh...

Women's History Month: Mentor / Mentee Relationship — Taylor, Rebecca, and Laura  

In recognition of Women's History Month, Dattner Architects is celebrating our women architects and designers by highlighting the relationsh...

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