2020 has delivered unique opportunities for both quiet reflection and unreserved action. Founded 27+ years ago to design ‘public interest architecture’, Studio G is committed to bold action to create as broadly a diverse team as we can achieve.
- We believe diverse voices elicit great design
- We believe in a supportive workplace
- We believe in daily actions to show respect for everyone
- We believe in all for love for all
To celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and honor #PrideMonth2020 we invited staff to share their experiences and perspectives. Designer Hunter Pattershall shares their thoughts and experiences in part two of our two-part blog series.
The first time you come out and claim an identity or identities, it marks the beginning of the infinite amount of times you’ll be coming out again and again. As a queer person the battle for diverse and inclusive spaces is never ending. However, in my own personal life I’ve started to see some small victories for my battles.
A newly hired member of the working 9-5 force, I tried to claim some identities at my place of work. Some were easier to take root than others. There was never any issue with being queer, as there were other queer bodies already established in that space. Unfortunately, being a non-binary trans-masculine human was less welcomed. Correct pronoun usage was slim to none and I never felt the presence of the administration behind me to make sweeping changes that would make an inclusive space. That was 2 years ago.
Cut to the last year where the job hunt was on for a more inclusive workplace. Taking the negatives of the previous experience helped to shape the kinds of questions asked. It was incredible to see these potential would be employers take initiative before I was even hired. One firm even emailed me late at night to say they didn’t have gender neutral bathrooms in the office, but they had contacted the building to see if there were any available. Which there were, and I would be given access to it. All of this done without me facilitating it.
While those places would have been great to work at, I found home in Studio G. From day one interviews till now, I’ve been treated with dignity and respect and wholly accepted. It’s really the little things that make the biggest impact. For instance, the company wide email signature policy includes everyone’s pronouns. I notice coworkers self-correcting or making efforts to correct or inform others without my request for it.
Sharing the energy it takes to make a diverse and inclusive environment is a weight off of my shoulders that allows me to work better.
All that I’ve experienced with workplace inclusivity gives me hope that I can tell aspiring queers in design that there are places out there. Tell them not to settle for less because they need the money. Sending the not so subtle message that we will not work for people who don’t value us as people as much as they value the cis-heteronormative person.