Estimated reading time: 4 min
Head of Marketing
Charline de Dorlodot is the Head of Marketing at RMJM. Having joined the company just under a year ago, Charline came to the company with an extensive background in communications and business development. Her calm and rational approach encourages creativity and passion throughout the team. Her natural ingenuity and a flair for experimentation are reflected both in the firm’s published materials and in her personal projects (her latest pottery project has been coming along nicely!).
Earlier this month we sat down with Charline to talk about her journey to becoming Head of Marketing at RMJM and how marketing gives us an opportunity to equalise the playing field for women and men in the industry.
What do you do?
C: I am the Head of Marketing at RMJM. Together with my team, we lead RMJM’s communications and marketing activities: blog, website, social media, newsletter, PR, portfolios etc. I also manage the relationship between the Core Team and our studios, offering them support in their day to day business activities.
Who inspires you?
C: My mum inspires me to always be myself and trust my instincts, and my dad taught me that great leadership is about being open, fair and humble. Both of them have supported me throughout my career in their own way. They are amazing people and I should tell them more often. Go, mum and dad!
What led you to your career?
C: Someone took a chance on me, as simple as that. I was at an important crossroad in my life and I was not sure what was coming next. Sometimes all it takes is for one person to believe in your abilities. Almost anything can be learned so personality matters above all things.
What role do you think gender plays in the architecture industry?
C: Gender plays both a positive and negative role in the industry. The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about gender is the gap there is between men and women. It is well-known that in male-dominated industries such as architecture, women are given fewer opportunities to shine.
However, when looking at the bright side, you notice that gender has a positive influence on the industry. Practices benefit from a mix of genders at all levels. Men and women sharing their skills, knowledge and passion make the best architecture. I am proud to say for instance that our studio in Dubai is 60% female, and our studio in Serbia was 80% female when they started working on Sheremetyevo Airport.
How has the industry changed for women during your time in it?
C: When you think about it, it has globally become better. But equality between men and women in a male-dominated industry depends on so many factors: culture, politics, education,… Compared to the early days, the gap has significantly decreased but some women in the industry are questioning the pace of this change and it seems that we have come to a standstill. We still have a long way to go.
What changes still need to come?
C: I have noticed that many more young women are joining our studios, this is super positive and exciting. However, we need to see more women in senior positions. On a more personal level, I have the chance to be surrounded by wonderful and talented women colleagues, within my own team but also in all our studios across the 5 continents. My role as a woman and as the Head of Marketing is to ensure that these amazing people are well represented in our communications. We are working hard at it.
What is the best professional decision you have ever made?
C: Don’t take this as a piece of advice but the best professional and life decision I have ever made was to leave everything behind in my native Belgium and move to Scotland without having anything lined up. It was a risky move but it paid off for me. All in all, it is about knowing and trusting yourself and doing what is best for you.
What is a piece of advice you would give to women entering the industry?
C: Follow your intellectual curiosity, it is what will push you to get out of your comfort zone. Be curious and eager to learn and discover. Always.