March 5, 2020

#EachforEqual – Republic Honours International Women’s Day

#EachforEqual is this year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day, which takes place on March 8, 2020. So, what does that mean?

“Equality is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue.” That’s what #EachforEqual says, and at Republic, we couldn’t agree more. Our team is made up of 63% women; everyone at Republic has an equal voice, whether you’re a man or a woman, a principal architect or an intern.

In the spirit of equality, we spoke with two women and two men from the Republic team to see what they thought about gender equality. Here’s what they had to say:

What role does gender play at Republic?

Matt: None. Everyone is equal. It’s their skills that matter.

Thalia: Everyone is treated the same. All the projects I’ve worked on had mixed teams of men and women, and we were all treated equally.

César: Gender has no role here; I think everyone sees themselves as equal.

Cara: None. Republic’s flexible hours mean that I can work less, be paid a normal wage, be a mom, and still be an architect. At Republic, I don’t have to sacrifice one to have the other.

What role has gender played at other places you’ve worked?

Matt: I came from a construction background, and conversations with coworkers were just what you’d expect. If there was a woman on site, she stuck out! Most times, I ate lunch in my truck.

Thalia: Women got talked over a lot, and people assumed that because I was younger, I lacked knowledge.

César: I know some employers that prefer to hire women; I think they want to be surrounded by pleasant company. Their capabilities are excellent, but the women are hired for their office spirit.

Cara: Women were commented on and commodified for their appearance as well as their work. They were things to be talked about, and it was men doing the talking.

Broadly speaking, what does gender equality mean to you?

Matt: Everyone needs to be treated equally for the betterment of society. Equal pay is the only thing that makes sense; if everyone is paid properly, the money will go back into the economy.

Thalia: To me, it means that your gender is not a factor in the way you’re treated. You have the same opportunities as another person with the same skill set.

César: When I think of gender equality, I think of women fighting for or defending something, trying to gain territory that never should have been a problem in the first place. Men and women should be treated equally.

Cara: That a woman can pursue her goals without gender being a factor.

Are there any changes you would make to improve gender equality at Republic?

Matt: Disposal boxes for feminine products could be added in the washrooms.

Thalia: Can’t think of any.

César: Nothing at Republic, but in other places, I would say women should be given the same opportunities as men. Men are given the benefit of the doubt more often than women.

Cara: Women clean the kitchen in our office more than the men. Men, take a turn!

Tell me about the women you work with.

Matt: I work closely with Wren, our building science specialist. She’s a wealth of knowledge, so when she talks, I shut up and listen. She’s been a mentor as long as I’ve been at Republic.

Thalia: They’re decisive, confident, and awesome! They’ll take time to explain something and mentor anyone who needs it, and they’re empowered to make their own decisions.

César: Super capable! They bring a different point of view to projects, a new angle. They’re hardworking.

Cara: Women are in all roles at Republic. They’ve got a diverse skill set, and no knowledge or skill gaps. If the men disappeared one day, we’d be fine! But seriously, the women at Republic aren’t pigeonholed into one role; everyone has the chance to grow and develop.