Romina Tonucci, AIA joined Finegold Alexander in the latter portion of 2021. As a senior project manager, Romina brings personable and adaptable leadership for our clients, consultants and project teams and a critical eye to construction details to ensure projects are of the utmost quality. As a recent hire to the firm, we were curious to learn Romina’s perspective of what it is like to navigate the architecture industry as a woman and what her experience has been like thus far in her career.
Q: What inspired you to become an architect?
R: For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be an architect. My mother is an architect and had her own studio in Rosario, Argentina. We moved to the US when I was 8 and she was always working full-time outside of our home. My sister and I both joke that we are ‘not good at the art of doing nothing’ mostly because the strong role models we had in both of our hard-working parents. As I transitioned in my career from unlicensed designer, to architect, to leadership levels, I have found that being a good architect means translating the goals and desires of both the client and community into respectful, beautiful, healthy, and fulfilling spaces. I think as women, we bring a sensitivity to and a layer of emotional intelligence and empathy to the profession that is pivotal to successful architecture.
Q: How was your experience navigating family dynamics and balancing your career?
R: When I became a parent for the first time in 2013, this was a HUGE transition in my career. I was only the third mother in my office of over 60 architects! And only ONE Principal was a woman (and happened to be a mother). What a breath of fresh air Finegold Alexander is! As mentors go, we tend to have different mentors depending on the phase of our lives. At this phase, I crave professional peers I can relate to. Our conversations helped to guide and set a path for reaching career milestones as well as served as a temperature gauge regarding current events/topics/trends in the industry.
Q: Have you noticed a shift in the industry over time when it comes to career and life expectations?
R: As women, we (unfortunately) feel we need to be more edited in what we share at work because we are judged differently. Sharing too much about family life can be seen as ‘not committed to the work’. A woman leaving early to grab her kid from school or arriving late because of kid commitments may be seen as not prioritizing the office or projects which may reflect negatively and thwart her ability to be promoted. I really value my career and the privilege of being a parent equally and I also understand there is a very delicate fine line to walk. This is an unfortunate and sad reality which is luckily shifting. The pandemic really helped expedite this normalization of working parent reality.
The more women who are able to break through and have a ‘seat at the table’ to normalize the ability to be both mother and lead, the easier it will be for the next generations to come.