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Design Talk with Kelly Claydon: Recognizing International Women’s Day

international women's day interview with Kelly Claydon

Design Talk with Kelly Claydon: Recognizing International Women’s Day

Each year on March 8th, the world unites to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. But International Women’s Day is more than a celebration: it’s a call to action for accelerating women’s equality in all facets of life.

Here at RI, we’re pleased to champion women. Our team is made up of inspiring female leaders driving change in the workplace design industry. By understanding the needs of women in our workplace, we can support advancement of female professional development and career progression within our company.

In keeping with this year’s theme of #BreakTheBias, we spoke with Kelly Claydon, our Director of Business Development about breaking gender stereotypes and the future for women in the workplace design and build-out industry.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

For me, International Women’s Day means celebrating the strength and power of women. It is celebrating equality in the workforce and recognizing that while we have come far, women have a long way to go. But the good news is that we are slowly getting there.

Today is a day that women are recognized and celebrated which I think is important for future generations. Today is a day to pay tribute to my personal community of women who continue to push me to be the best I can be, and celebrate women around the world to continue to be the best they can be too.

What stereotype do you think you’ve had to overcome as a woman in this industry?

Working in a male-dominated industry, I have found that getting my foot in the door of the design and construction world can be challenging as a woman. Since I started here at RI, thanks to their tremendous support, I have found success in finding my own path in the industry and creating strong relationships with our clients that continue to grow and thrive.

On IWD, what advice would you give to young women considering a future career in workplace design and fit-out?

My first piece of advice is to be confident and believe in yourself. The second piece of advice is to always listen to your clients. Try putting yourself in their shoes so that you are able to see their vision which will help your client be successful. If you are unsure of your client’s needs, keep asking questions and use your network to get the answers. Lastly, always be genuine and transparent because every client wants to work with a person who they can rely on and trust.


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