Business of Furniture Magazine features Mel Saenz, VP of Relationship Management at Juniper in their Women Leaders in Design issue. Saenz shares her experience as a woman in the New York architectural community for the past 17 years.
“As a woman, I’ve experienced pay inequality, as a Mexican American woman I’ve experienced racism, as a woman in manufacturing, I’ve experienced thinly disguised misogyny” Saenz Said. “These combined experiences as a woman have given me a deeper perspective and empathy that I carry both at work and in my personal life. In my career, I have also had an incredible amount of support from other women in leadership roles that allowed me to be my full self in a situation. I aim to pay it forward by offering that same support and guidance to others.”
“The challenge is to break the barrier of ‘men make things with their hands’ or ‘are good with their hands”, she said. “No one talks about the female welder or metal worker, unfortunately, because those ‘maker jobs’ have been processed as male-dominant. Rewarding, uplifting, and celebrating women makers is crucial to curbing the stereotype.”
Saenz shares her advice for women in the design industry, ” I would advise young women to seek out support and befriend like-minded women in all areas of the A&D community, not just in your particular field. I’ve had the best female mentors and friends in this industry across different roles. These genuine types of relationships can last all through your career and beyond.”