The Women of Wold: Spotlight on Anna Kieckhafer

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we talked with several of our talented female leaders about their careers, sources of inspiration and much more

Women’s History Month is a time to intentionally shine a light on the incredible women who contribute to the success of our work and team at Wold Architects and Engineers, whether they are leading and mentoring colleagues or serving clients and delivering impactful results. This month, we are featuring women across the company who have made a difference in the lives of those around them. These women share personal stories about who has inspired them and how they strive to advocate for others.

In our third installment of the series, Education Leader Anna Kieckhafer shares her proudest accomplishment, the biggest challenge (and thus greatest opportunity) for women in the field, and how she supports the growth and development of women in the workplace. Anna works in interior design and is based in the St. Paul, Minnesota office. She helps lead Core Groups, User Groups and get projects over the finish line so staff and students can use the space they have been dreaming about. Her expertise includes space planning, furniture design and having client visions become a reality.

Is there a woman in your life who inspires you? If so, who is she and how has she made you better?

My mom was a project manager in a male-dominated industry. She showed me that women can do anything they put their minds to and shouldn’t compare themselves to their male counterparts. Seeing her succeed in her field inspired me to strive to be the best I can in everything I do, regardless of the barriers or glass ceiling.

Tell us about your current role and how you’re making an impact on other women around you.

As a lead designer in interior architecture, I want to mentor the next generation of women in the design industry. I want to help them understand that the opportunities truly are endless, and they don’t have to put themselves in a box or limit their careers simply because of their gender.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge (and thus, greatest opportunity) for women in the field, and how might you approach the solution?

The biggest challenge women in the workforce face is work/life balance and choosing between having a family and career. Time management is tough, and task delegation can be difficult when you feel like you need to do it all. I try to evaluate my own goals and check in with myself to make sure I’m still enjoying what I’m doing while fulfilling my duties both at home and work.

What is your proudest accomplishment and why?

In my professional life, I am most proud of taking the knowledge and expertise I’ve gained over the years and applying it to ensure new employees are supported and comfortable in the industry and company. Personally, I’m excited to dive into the next phase of my life. I look forward to starting a family and showing my children that women can do it all.

Can you share an example of what you or Wold are doing in the workplace to support the growth and development of women?

It’s important to support other women daily, even with simple check-in conversations to gauge how they’re handling their work and personal lives. Regular group activities are another great resource that allow for team building and facilitate open and honest conversations.

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