http://owa-usa.org/newsletter.php?v=451#1181

Newsletter | Jan/Feb 2017


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Member Spotlight :: Conyee Chan

We spotlight a different OWA+DP member for each newsletter. This time, we hear from the lovely Conyee Chan.

Conyee hard at work and traveling

1. What book has changed how you look at the world and why?

Your Best Life Now by Pastor Joel Osteen. Sometimes we are trapped by our circumstances. Having your best life is really a choice and it is never too late, NOW is the best time to start, no one and nothing can stop us from having fulfilling lives!

2. How has someone’s mentoring made a difference in your life or career?

My mother is a strong woman and always recreating herself. Growing up, I saw her as a professor, social activist, speaker, TV host to a politician, writer and painter. She is intelligent and can adapt to any new situation but most importantly, she has a fearless attitude with lots of confidence. She showed me how believing in yourself is most important and that you can achieve whatever you aim for.

3. What is your next big goal for yourself, personally or professionally?

I am trying to have a bigger positive impact not just in my circle of life, but also in the society. As an architect, I travelled to Egypt and Uganda to design a children's home and community center, respectively. I am new to the Bay Area, so I'm trying to find out how and where I can contribute most and regularly devote my skills. I would love to meet liked-minded women in OWA to start making a difference!

Conyee volunteering her skills to improve communities in Egypt and Uganda

4. In a parallel life, what would be your line of work and why?

A medical doctor. Nothing beats saving lives everyday!

5. What has changed since you started in your field?

I do love design, and I used to work happily up to 3 or 4 am. Now I'm focusing on a work-life balance and a purpose-driven work process more than the design itself.

6. Has your career path been shaped by being a woman, and how?

I never thought about it much, actually, although I am constantly the only or one of few woman in the entire meeting room of more than 20 people. Interestingly enough, I was not aware of the gender difference at all while working in Shanghai and Singapore for the past 12 years. It seems the gender issues and oppression are more apparent in US. When I joined the OWA retreat in 2016 for the first time, I was so surprised to hear so many horror stories from older women architects, I have so much respect for those that made it through such harsh circumstances.

Some of the projects Conyee has most enjoyed working on


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