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Women in Business 2021: Rebecca L. Hopkins, Tecton Architects

Rebecca L. Hopkins Employer: Tecton Architects Title: Project Architect See all Women in Business 2021 honorees
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Rebecca Hopkins is a project architect and the manager of emerging technology for Tecton Architects, a Hartford-based architecture and interior design firm. Hopkins believes that architecture is a continuous dialogue between the user and the built environment, in which design challenges are constantly changing. This approach guides her when leading Tecton’s technology integration strategy, with a focus on investing in, implementing and integrating technologies that have a tangible impact on the firm’s day-to-day workflows. She holds a bachelor of architecture degree from Pennsylvania State University and is a registered architect in New York.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far?

Becoming a licensed professional has been one of my greatest accomplishments. Although it’s a natural progression for any aspiring architect, there is a 30% gap between the number of female architecture graduates and the number of licensed female practitioners and senior leaders in the profession – a statistic I am passionate about changing!

What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

There’s a disconnect between the study and practice of architecture, engineering, design and construction. The industry needs a better framework to help foster cultures that celebrate mentorship, collaboration, diversity and innovation, for both graduating students and established professionals. I want to bridge these gaps between past, present and future architects.

What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

One of my biggest professional challenges was taking an adversarial construction project and creating a partnership between all the stakeholders to successfully overcome unforeseen conditions, countless design challenges and a pandemic with no additional contingency, in order to deliver a state-of-the-art facility, which will serve the community for decades to come.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to adapt as a leader?

I’ve learned that change doesn’t need to be perfect to have a positive impact, specifically with regard to how we implement improvements to our design process and communications. Instead of long training sessions, we implemented frequent roundtables on new programs, tools and tips, and have been more efficient this year than in the previous five.

Who has been your most important mentor and why?

I’ve been fortunate to have incredible mentors, from my mother, an investment portfolio manager, to principals at our firm. They’ve fostered my continual growth, as both a professional and as a person, shaped my perspective, driven my commitment to transform and helped create a mosaic that’s uniquely mine.

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