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International Women's Day 2023 | Celebrating Women of A49

2023 International Women's Day Banner, All Headshots

On this International Women’s Day we are celebrating some of our inspiring women and women-identified individuals at Architecture49 who contribute whole-heartedly to our organization and their communities.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Amy Picknell

Attending college as a mature student was the motivation behind Amy Picknell choosing her career path. Longing for a more fulfilling life and a better life for her son, Amy attended Algonquin College to study Architectural Technology. During her time in college, Amy was the recipient of the Stantec Consulting Award, was recognized as the Student Volunteer of the Year by the AATO, and was asked to present her third-year group project at a CanBIM Satellite session. She made a lot of sacrifices juggling school, work, volunteering, and being a mother during that time, but in the end, it was worth it. Raising her son as a single mother has shaped Amy. Having a child has helped Amy figure out what’s important to her in life and allowed her to grow as a person. Amy enjoys time with her family and has a unique talent for creating rice krispie sculptures for family events.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Ana Coppinger

Described as a trailblazer in the Laboratory industry, Ana Coppinger is a force of strength and expertise in her field. Working alongside many intelligent, brilliant, strong, and highly skilled women at A49 is of immense value to Ana. Not only is Ana an amazing colleague, but she is also a highly skilled architectural designer and laboratory design specialist. Her incredible in-depth knowledge and tenacity have made her an invaluable member of the A49 family. Ana cares deeply for her coworkers, and for her clients.  Her personality, combined with her knowledge, has made her a favourite amongst colleagues and clients alike

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Basma Sahib

Relocating to Canada over 25 years ago, Basma Sahib built a successful career at A49. Hardworking and dedicated to her career, Basma became a registered architect in Nova Scotia and completed her BEFA certification. In 2017, Basma was promoted to principal, working alongside a long-standing Halifax leadership team to help shape the future of the practice. Basma is a skilled project manager and respected leader among her peers. A fusion of all her life experiences from her time in Iraq and Canada shape Basma into the woman she is today. She Loves Orchids for their beauty and resiliency and enjoys cooking – for everyone, as she considers preparing a meal is a labour of love.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Caitlin Handy

For most of her career, Caitlin Handy has worked in predominantly male environments. This experience has provided her with the confidence to succeed in all facets of her life. Caitlin calls herself a ‘Jill’ of all trades. She graduated (with honors) from Interior Decorating and Architectural Technology programs, providing her with a strong skill set for her work at A49 and beyond. Outside of the office, Caitlin has renovated her entire house with the help of her dad, she is a self-taught cake and cookie decorator and enjoys dance classes. Caitlin is a strong advocate of the Ottawa team, consistently present at all office events, and a strong champion of A49.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Figen Emre

With a demonstrated gift for leadership, Figen Emre is a highly valued intern architect at A49 in Winnipeg. Described as someone who is highly motivated and adaptable, Figen brings a thirst for knowledge with a keen interest in healthcare design to her work. Figen comes from a large extended family who are important to her. Especially her grandparents who, by example showed and taught her how important it is to be a loving, hard working and kind person. These are the values that have shaped Figen and she hopes to inspire the next generation to carry these same values.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Lindsay Keir

Lindsay Keir is a key member of our national marketing team, a skillful proposal writer and an active promoter of A49. Not only is she creative and knowledgeable, but she is enthusiastic and interactive within her project and pursuit teams, making challenging tasks and deadlines enjoyable. Lindsay is known for her dedication to mentoring our marketing students, many of whom ask for repeat placements at A49. After graduating from the University of Toronto in 2007 with a degree in Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics, she went on to work with several high-profile design firms in Toronto. Lindsay is a military and cargo aircraft enthusiast and shares that her parents met at the Toronto International Air Show in 1982 and she has been to nearly every air show since birth. Her favourite aircrafts are the Boeing C-17 Globemaster, the Lockhead C-130 Hercules and of course, the Avro Lancaster.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Maggie Saab

The Ottawa Office is fortunate to have Maggie Saab. Maggie is a hard-working, dedicated A49 team member, ensuring everyone and everything is cared for in her office. Maggie values her family. Her parents have instilled strong values in Maggie and pushed her to be a better person and to make smart decisions. When she’s not working, she can be found working at her family’s restaurant. Maggie has a beautiful heart and treats everyone with respect. She greets everyone with a smile and a friendly hello and always makes everyone feel welcome.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Moumee Habib

From a young age, Moumee Habib knew she wanted to be an architect. From experiencing the beauty of architecture through years of travel first with her family then through her own personal and professional pursuits to growing up watching her father practice the profession, it was a calling she always came back to. Growing up, she witnessed the highs and lows of working in this industry, owning your own business, and the demand it can have on work-life balance. All of this has shaped and continues to shape her personal and professional trajectory. Moumee works in our Thunder Bay office where her love of travel and curiosity of people, community and appreciation for everyday beauty/places has led to her strong connection to her work in remote, northern locations including many First Nation communities. As a female professional born to immigrant parents, she has a deep awareness for the role that education and her upbringing in Canada has afforded her relative to many women and girls around the world who do not have the same level of access. Starting with mentorship and volunteer opportunities with women’s initiatives, she hopes to pay this forward.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Ola Fedorova

Olha Fedorova moved to Winnipeg from Ukraine at the end of April 2022 to join the Interior Design group in our Winnipeg A49 office. Leaving her husband back home in Ukraine as their country continued their battle with Russia, Olha joined her daughters who are currently taking their education at the University of Manitoba. Prior to her move, Olha made a personal effort to learn AutoCAD and Revit online and to improve her English language skills. She continues to support our Interiors group in valuable and meaningful ways. Since moving to Winnipeg, she has also attended English language education classes on her own time, recently completing an English exam.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Sakshi Misra

Sakshi Misra is a highly valued team member of our Western Region. Since 2016, Sakshi has navigated through many large and complex projects; from producing design and construction documents for Port Coquitlam Community Centre to supporting the leading Principal Architect for the high-profile BC Institute of Trades and Technology Centre project. Over the years Sakshi has become well-versed in project management, design, and laboratory planning. Her willingness to tackle every challenge and handle a wide range of tasks has enabled her to perform at an advanced level during her years in the architectural profession. Sakshi is proud of her accomplishment in becoming a licensed architect this past year – a long journey that provided her with valuable life experience. Sakshi values her family time, especially raising her young son, who she says helped shape who she is today.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Shu Zhang

Shu Zhang remembers growing up surrounded by creative people. Her grandfather was a crafter of jewelry and enjoyed gourmet cooking. Her dad was a skilled furniture creator and would build Shu her own wooden chairs and tables when she was a child. It is easy to see how creation and attention to detail are embodied within her. Shu looks up to her dad as he has always strived to be the best at what he does – a value Shu embraces. He never allowed her to be anything less than the best she could be. At A49, Shu brings her attention to detail and creativity to her role as an interior designer working within our workplace portfolio. She enjoys creating functional and beautiful workplaces for our clients and working alongside a talented team of designers in Ottawa. Recent projects across the country have given Shu an additional skill in managing demanding contractors and she has become A49's secret weapon for Contract Administration on interiors jobs! Life outside of A49 is spent with her husband raising their two young boys.

2023 International Women's Day Banner, Stella Nicolet

An exceptional leader to her team, Stella Nicolet has an unwavering commitment to helping each team member in Vancouver succeed. Stella’s positive attitude toward challenging circumstances in projects inspires the team to perform at their best. Stella succeeds generations of women including her grandmother and great-aunts who were strong, resourceful, and independent. Often leading their families through wars, poverty, and immigration without male support. Hearing these stories helped Stella assume she could achieve her dreams. When she’s not leading the Vancouver team through a multitude of high-profile projects, Stella can be found buying tools, and more tools, as she has undertaken a full home renovation project. The field of architecture has a history of being a Gentleman’s hobby. Stella is proud of her career and says the appreciation for her work feels like whipped cream on a Venti Mocha

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