Have you ever been afraid of growing your family and how it would impact your professional life? Many women are afraid that motherhood would force them to pause – or stop entirely – their architectural careers.
We all know that architecture and motherhood both are high-pressure jobs, and the lack of flexibility that accompanies our industry overall doesn’t make it any easier for mothers to stay in balance with their professional growth.
Data from the 2020 annual report of the NAAB revealed that 50% of the students enrolled in NAAB-accredited architecture programs were female.1 Yet, the percentage of women who obtained their architect license, achieve upper management positions, become partners and own architectural firms have not increased as men’s percentages have. To date, data from the NCARB’s 2021 NCARB by the Numbers report shows that only 24% of the registered architects in the United States are female.2
What happens to women in architecture after they get out of school? Why is there such a gap between the percentages of gender representation shown from architectural school to licensure? Where is the other 26%?
Does motherhood play a part in these statistics?
After performing several polls within the architectural community on different social media platforms, the majority of women who participated expressed that motherhood is the number one reason their career development slowed down at some point in their journey.
It’s no secret that women have been the backbone of the nuclear family for a very long time. Being the main caregivers of their children – and elderly family members – sometimes can represent a challenge when trying to balance out their responsibilities as mothers with their professional careers.
But what happens when a woman is not willing to choose one role over the other? How can a mother in architecture stay in business successfully without compromising either role?
In her book “The Architecture of Motherhood”, Gloria Kloter, AIA, NCARB, CODIA shares her story as a foreign architect, mother, and business owner, and the things that have worked for her to find a balance between those worlds.
Gloria is the founder and CEO of Glow Architects, an architecture firm based in Tampa, Florida. She’s a multi-award-winning architect, keynote speaker, author, leader, and advocate for foreign architects, women in architecture, and mothers. She’s the founder and manager of the Foreign Architects, a private community on Facebook where she mentors thousands of foreign architects and emerging professionals in their architect licensing journey in the US.
In her book, Gloria expresses how “Architecture is an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and creative world” and how “the same can be said for motherhood”, indicating the importance of collaboration with others. She believes that “your support system can make or break you. It’s an essential piece of the puzzle to find the balance between motherhood and business”.
Gloria explains how leading by self-awareness has helped her identify where she needs to focus her energy to achieve success. “A thriving environment is where your weaknesses are balanced out by others’ strengths. This can be said in business and motherhood as well” says Kloter, who also advocates for the need of mothers and business owners to master the art of delegation. “When thinking of tools to ease your professional life and motherhood, the first thing that comes to my mind is delegate, delegate, delegate”.
Even though the book is mainly written to help mothers in business, especially Archimoms, any parent and architect in business could benefit from the reading, as other topics covered in the book are related to implementing effective communication, hands-on training, organizational skills, time management, stress management, networking, and so on. These are all essential to mastering business ownership and parenthood in general.
If you would like to learn more about Gloria Kloter’s inspirational story and the tools she’s sharing through her book on how to glow in balance between architecture and motherhood, you can pre-order the book now at this link.
More about Gloria Kloter
Gloria Kloter, AIA, NCARB, CODIA, is an award-winning architect, founder and CEO of Glow Architects, a keynote speaker, and an author. Gloria has been a practicing architect both in her home country (Dominican Republic) and in the United States since 2004. Gloria is an advocate for immigrant architects, women in architecture, and motherhood.
She has dedicated a huge chunk of her career to helping other young architects grow. As a leader in the architecture community, she is the founder of the Foreign Architects, a private online community where she mentors young and aspiring immigrant architects on how to obtain their architect license in the United States.
As a testament to her influence and impact, Gloria Kloter currently serves as the Architect Licensing Advisor of the State of Florida through AIA Florida. She is a part of the Board of Directors of the AIA Tampa Bay where she is the chairperson of the Women in Architecture committee. She was also honored for the 2019 Sho-Ping Ching Women’s Leadership Summit Scholarship, a recognition to mid-career women architects who are advancing toward leadership roles and are making a positive impact within their communities.
Gloria has been a keynote speaker and panelist on several occasions at the Young Architect conference, NCARB’s Architect Licensing Advisor Summit, AIA National Conference on Architecture, Women Architects Festival, World Creativity and Innovation Conference, AIA WMR Vision 2020, and Realty 2.0, among other events.
Gloria Kloter and Glow Architects have been featured by major architectural and global publications like The Young Architect Podcast, Arquitexto, NCARB, YAF Connection, South Tampa Magazine, Thrive Global, Tech Times, Influencive, and others, regarding her experience in the field of Architecture, Interior Design and her journey as a foreign architect in the USA.
You can also connect with Gloria on any of the following social media:
 National Architectural Accrediting Board. (2020). Annual Report.NAAB.
 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. (2021). NCARB by the numbers. NCARB.
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