“With my hands on the steering wheel of my profession, I have been given the opportunity to reach outside the car and pull in a diverse population of passengers and teach them how to drive themselves.”
Julia Su. Jack is a, self-proclaimed, daughter of diversity. She is the second child of two West Indian immigrants who, in 1967, left their beautifully hot island for the frozen splendor of Canada. Her parents would eventually leave that cold place for a temperate state in the United States.
Raised in a neighborhood in Connecticut, where there were very few families that looked like hers, she accepted that she was born for diversity. But, what she could not predict is that her career would follow a similarly unplanned and non-traditional path.
Graduating with a Master of Architecture degree, her career started out traditionally as she went straight to work in an architectural firm. But, the tide would turn after she took a leave of absence from work to focus on her growing family. When she returned to her career, circumstances would take her through many different professional roles in a variety of sectors across the AEC industry. She worked in interior design, pre-construction management, and non-profit construction employment management, transportation project controls, University Construction Project Management, finally landing as a Municipal Architect.
As a result, Julia brings to her employer, The City of Hartford and the industry as a whole, a wealth of knowledge and an awareness of diversity that only that type of shifting of experiences could produce; including an understanding of how companies and people work, how different people and generations think, how they process information, and how structures are built and delivered from all different sides of our profession.
She would claim that her most empowering and lifechanging experience was in her work at Capital Workforce Partners in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity where she endeavored to engage young women in the fields of construction. With such a growing, yet still small, pool of female constructors she felt immeasurably passionate about her work.
“I have always wanted to change the world for the better. As a younger woman, I thought changing the world could only be done by selling everything and taking to the streets with only a pair of sandals on your feet and a satchel on your shoulder. But, because of my experience with Capital Workforce Partners and Habitat for Humanity I have come to understand that we can change the world by using our professional experience, sharing our knowledge, mentoring, and understanding the needs of people, populations, and our industry.”
Julia is an Architect with a passion for generational, ethnic, racial, and gender diversity within our industry that goes beyond mandates and monetary gain.
[Julia Su. Jack holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Howard University and a Masters in Construction Management degree from Central Connecticut State University; she is National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Certified and a Certified PMI Project Management Professional.]