(MARCH 5, 2018) International Women’s Day is March 8, and its purpose is to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history. Also known as the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, the first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911.
HDR is celebrating its female employees all week long with a special website and social media campaign totally dedicated to women leaders in architecture. Not only have these women carved their own paths into the industry, but their ambition has led to prominent roles at not just an architecture firm, but a global design firm.
Jean Hansen, FIIDA, LEED Fellow, CID, EDAC, AAHID, is a sustainable principal in HDR’s San Francisco architecture studio. As a highly versatile interior designer, planner and sustainable consultant with more than 30 years of experience, Jean provides expertise in the design of facilities and interiors. Her portfolio includes a range of healthcare and laboratory settings, including acute care, medical office buildings, cancer and research centers and children’s hospitals. She has worked on more than 30 LEED projects, developed sustainable guidelines and led sustainable research for healthcare organizations and manufacturers.
We got to know Jean a little better by asking her the following questions.
Q: As a little girl, what did you imagine yourself being when you grew up?
A: “A librarian. I loved to read, and I couldn’t imagine anything better than being surrounded by books. Later in high school, I wanted to be a psychologist, and then I became interested in interior design, most likely due to the fact that my family moved a number of times while I was growing up. My parents did extensive remodeling projects, and by my high school years I was frequently redesigning my bedroom layout and its aesthetic.”
Q: What words of advice do you have for young women just starting out in their careers?
A: “Determine what you want out of your life and career and go for it. Dream big. Don’t take no for an answer. At times you might not find what you need where you are currently in your career – so reach out and find it. Or reach out in your current environment and speak up for what you need. I also believe it is important to make time in your life for personal interests outside of the office, as well as time for your professional development.”
Q: How do you hope to make a difference?
A: “I love being curious, and I encourage others’ curiosity! I learn so much when I ask questions and when others ask questions—we learn so much from each other and those around us. Our ‘asks’ also show our intentions. I truly believe that we can all make a difference by learning to ask more.”
Follow all of HDR’s compelling women this week at @HDRarchitecture on Twitter. And get to know more of our women leaders in architecture by visiting our website.
HDR employs almost 900 architecture, engineering, environmental and related professionals in California, including the architecture studio in San Francisco.
For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world—and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.