INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: A CONVERSATION WITH PATTY CLYDESDALE

Patty is a Principal at DPAI and a Registered Interior Designer with ARIDO who brings more than 16 years’ experience in the architecture and interiors field. Patty is motivated by people engagement and relishes the relationship-building aspect of her profession. She gains inspiration through her values-based approach, the stories people tell. 
Inclusive design is the root of Patty’s approach, advocating for equitable participation by every community affected by the design process. Her process is open and transparent. Through open dialog with her clients and people she meets, she adds these important conversations about inclusion and what that means to the design process, especially for those who have been marginalized.

We (virtually) sat down with Patty to discuss her reflections on International Women’s Day and her perspective on gender-specific challenges, stereotypes and barriers that women face both locally and internationally.

Check out the full conversation here:

What gender-specific challenges, stereotypes, or barriers have you had to overcome during your career?

I am a white woman with privilege. While there were stereotypes and barriers to overcome, they pale in comparison to those that girls and women of colour, and trans women have and continue to face.

What does International Woman’s Day mean to you, personally?

It’s a call to action for basic human rights for women and girls, especially for women and girls of colour and for the trans community. As a principal and leader of a firm with influence, I have and must advocate for the hiring of women, women of colour and other marginalized community groups. As a professional, I must advocate for women-centered spaces and amenities that help support and provide women and girls of colour, and transwomen, the tools they need to be safe and succeed in the built environment. Engaging women of colour and other traditionally marginalized communities such as Trans women in the consultation stages of any design project, is more important than ever to identify their needs. These women have borne the largest economic burden during the COVID pandemic.

What women’s stories need to be heard and supported more (locally or internationally)?

Women of colour and trans women.

How could you contribute your wisdom, expertise or ideas to empower other women?

By advocating for the rights and needs of women, trans women and women of colour in every interaction, every project, every opportunity. As an Interior Designer, I must work toward eradicating through the built environment, the barriers and critical safety issues these women face every day.

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