Do You Care If Your Designer Is a Man or a Woman?
As a woman in what has been, until recently, a traditionally male dominated industry, I am very encouraged to see more and more women choosing careers as contractors, builders, designers, architects and remodelers. I look forward to the day when there are as many women in design and construction as there now are in roles that were also once held primarily by men, such as attorneys, corporate CEO’s, doctors, financial planners and politicians.
So, with increasing numbers of women being trained, mentored, apprenticed and graduated from colleges and trade schools with valuable hands on experiences and deep skill sets, it makes sense that women, in general, would ask themselves “given an environment full of abundant choices between talented and creative men and women professionals, why wouldn’t I opt to select a woman as my contractor, designer or remodeler…or all three for that matter?”
I’ve been a designer and remodeler for many years and when I make presentations to women’s groups, I get comments from many attendees confirming that given a choice between equals – men and/or women – they frequently select a woman professional. A growing number of women simply prefer to work collaboratively on projects – whether it is managing their personal health care, their personal financial independence and security or remodeling their home or office – with someone who they perceive views the world the same way or who has had similar work and life experiences.
It is important to consider all of your options, do the due diligence and interview as many professionals as you need to before selecting the one you feel is just the right fit for you and your project. Listen to your intuition and never feel pressured into working with anyone, man or woman, who you feel you cannot openly and honestly communicate and speak your mind with.
As an entrepreneur, wife, mother, mentor, and, I hope, positive role model, I am thrilled to have opportunities to work with a growing number of women industry leaders paving the way for the next generation of young women who are choosing to follow a similar path.
Heather Van Eyk, CKD and member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, is founder and designer of Northwest Design House, LLC, a design house located in the Eastgate Plaza off Hwy. 34 in Corvallis. Heather’s extensive, product knowledge, hands on experience designing, and working directly with tradespeople and allied professionals makes her the area’s go-to resource for homeowners planning to renovate. She can be reached at 541-619-7892.