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"We still have to do a lot of work here as an environment" – interview with Agnieszka Kalinowska-Sołtys

15 of April '24

How to create a more inclusive work environment by promoting diversity and equality? How to creatively shape both professional and private spaces? This is what the guests and guests of the Top Woman Experience conference on female energy in business discussed in March.

We talk about the conference and the mentoring program organized by Top Woman in Real Estate with Agnieszka Kalinowska-Sołtys, an architect, president of the Association of Polish Architects, a partner on the board of APA Wojciechowski Architekci studio and a triple winner of the Top Woman in Real Estate competition, who has been a mentor of the Top Woman program since 2019.

Ola Kloc: You took part in the Top Woman Experience conference aimed at women in business, what are the main lessons learned from it?

Agnieszka Kalinowska-Sołtys: It's a great conference about women and for women in the real estate industry, where there was no lack of a male point of view. Numerous panel discussions, workshops and expert speeches make you realize how many gender stereotypes operate in our industry.

Discrimination against women, but also against men in many professional areas is still in place and, unfortunately, strongly harms everyone. The Top Woman Experience is an important event that all heads of real estate companies, regardless of their gender, should see.

Ola Kloc: For several years, you have been a mentor for the Top Woman program, where you share your knowledge and experience with young women starting their careers in real estate — what challenges do women who choose this path face?

Agnieszka Kalinowska-Sołtys: The Top Woman mentoring program has as many as three paths, depending on the experience and position the mentee has.

These are women with very different experiences in the real estate industry, who are united by the desire for continuous development, very often have already achieved a lot of success and have ambitious plans for the future.

Reconciling professional work with family life, good organization of work, and making new contacts, the mentees themselves often inspire each other, because it turns out that despite individual differences we often struggle with similar professional challenges.

Ola Kloc: Gender inequality in the labor market is nothing new, do you see any change in this issue in the architectural community?

Agnieszka Kalinowska-Sołtys: Looking at the last twenty years, when I have been actively working in real estate professionally, I see a small improvement. There are definitely more women studying architecture, and there are more of them in design offices, but looking higher up the job ladder, there are fewer and fewer women there. There are still very few of us on the boards of architectural firms, despite the very good competence that female architects have in this field. We still need to do a lot of work here as an environment.

Ola Kloc: Thank you for the interview.

 Ola Kloc

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