President and senior principal, Glavé & Holmes Architecture PC, Richmond
When Lori Garrett was studying architecture at the University of Virginia in the 1980s, she recalls, there wasn’t a women’s restroom near her classrooms.
“That changed shortly after I graduated,” Garrett says. “But clearly, in the ’80s, it was very male-dominated.”
Garrett went on to oversee the design of buildings at colleges and universities across Virginia at Richmond-based architecture firm Glavé & Holmes, where she was the manager of the 57-year-old firm’s Higher Education Studio before being named president in January.
“Instead of nurturing my specific people in the higher education studio, [my duties are] now spread a little bit more across the firm and specifically to our leaders on the leadership team,” she explains.
About a decade ago, Garrett formed a committee for staff to strategize how to achieve work-life balance and support each other in the process — an initiative she says was “born from my own struggles.”
She reflects on how “everyone has different seasons in their life,” but balancing parenthood with work can be a challenge, especially for working women. Building confidence, balance and empathy have been outcomes of the group, Garrett says.
“And ultimately that’s going to make for not only a more fulfilled individual, but somebody who can actually work better to innovate more [and] can empathize more.”