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White Brick Wall

What made you want to step up into the role as Partner/ Chair? 

I’ve always wanted to have my own practice and so after working for several major London Architects practices when the opportunity arrived, and I was invited to be a partner at a new practice I embraced it. I also come from a family of professionals who have created their own businesses.

How did you get to where you are now? Did you always know what you wanted to do?

For my A level-subjects, I studied Maths, Physics and Fine Art. I then moved into the 1st year of my architecture degree at the University of Bath and then continued the course in my 2nd year at Strathclyde University. I moved because my father had been to Glasgow University and my parents wanted me to be near people they knew there. When I started the course (it’s a & year course) I wasn’t sure whether I would do the 7 years it took to qualify. But then I found I loved it and took it one year at a time. I was often top of my class on projects. However I was the only person of colour throughout and one of only 2 women in a class of 40 men by the end of the course. I never had a female lecturer and all the lecturers were white men.

White Brick Wall

Once you reach higher managerial positions its less about the practice of your profession and more about management of people and money.”

My name is Annette Amanda Oyèkunlé Fisher and I've been working within the industry since 1983. Currently, i am:

  • The Founder & Partner at FA Global

  • The Founder & Chair at Let’s Build

  • The Co-Chair at Unionne

  • A Former RIBA Vice President and national Councillor

  • A Former Chair Kush Housing Association

  • A Former Group Non-Executive Director Places for people

What does your Partner/ Chair actually involve?

Being the Partner or Chair of any organization involves managing people and running a business. Once you reach higher managerial positions its less about the practice of your profession and more about management of people and money. How to win work and improve income? Then How to execute the work and resource it so that it is managed and delivered efficiently to produce the best results for your client.

What is it like being a woman in a Senior position and how does it feel?

I’ve been doing this for so long it kind of feels natural to me to be the only woman and person of colour in a room. And yet it isn’t natural-there should be more women and POC’s in conference rooms, Board meetings and site meetings than there are. It can feel lonely sometimes.

As someone in my role, I deal with challenges always one at a time and in order of priority. Every day I prioritize my activities and establish my to do list at the start of the week and every day. My approach is always one of positivity in that I know every issue whether financial, personal or business can be resolved as long as you tackle it in time and make sure you have consensus from those who are affected by your decision making.

How do you stay motivated to keep going everyday and push past the challenges of your role?

My overarching resolve at this stage in my career is involving myself in projects and initiatives that make a difference. What keeps me going is my ability to progress each project daily. The beauty of lists and prioritising is being able to tick off each activity as they are completed is a terrific daily boost to my productivity and accomplishments.

Despite any challenges you may face, what’s the best thing you like about your role?

Shaping my own destiny and using my skills and privilege to help motivate the next generation of architects and other professionals.

"My advice to any young woman aspiring to progress to any senior level in the industry is to go for it- don’t hesitate to grab every opportunity with both hands and grow with the job. Don’t procrastinate and delay progress because of lack of knowledge or experience. That opportunity would not have presented itself unless someone thought you were already ready for it."

Outside of your role, do you have a passion project?

Let’s Build – a televised debate celebrating and showcasing women and underrepresented construction professionals. Started in 2019 and sponsored by RIBA, Yanga TV, Places for People and AKTII. https://www.lets-build.it/ 

  • LinkedIn

Annette Amanda Oyèkunlé Fisher

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