INSPIRE% is an initiative where will we present personal stories of amazing people who embody our vision of equitable practice, fostering and keeping talent within the profession and elevating the value of Architecture to society.  Our first interview is one of the most inspirational of all.

INSPIRE% [02]: Juggling Work & Family - Jaya Kader, AIA

This week, INSPIRE% features Jaya Kader, AIA LEED AP, who shares her amazing journey of resilience: juggling the roles of sole practitioner and mother/wife very early on in her career. Today, Jaya Kader runs a her own successful practice in Miami and is a sponsor and attendee of Equity by Design.


1. Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?  

I am a woman, an architect, a single practitioner and a mother of four.

My story about becoming an architect may not be solely about design, but it certainly is about resilience. 27 years ago, during my third year at the (Harvard) GSD, my first daughter was born.  There was great disbelief among my peers and professors:  I got married after the first year of my master’s program, and was certainly the first student to become a mom in the midst of studying at the (Harvard) GSD. I graduated in 1988 with a 10 month old baby.  I don’t have a lot of memories of that time.  I recently met one of my classmates and expressed my regret at not having seen much of her since first year.  She pointed out matter-of-fact that we had sat next to each other during thesis semester. I had absolutely no recollection. It is likely that I was operating on survival mode, solely focusing on completing my master and caring for my baby.  I do remember however, my frustration at not being able to stay up all night, as I had planned for the last days leading up to the final review for my thesis.   I only learned the day before graduation that I was pregnant with my son and thus the combination of nursing a baby while being pregnant with another, may have had something to do with my sudden failure at pulling all-nighters.

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