Durham Herald Sun: Female Architects Break Gender Mold

by Monica Chen

DURHAM — When Jean Middleton was a draftswoman for an architectural firm in the 1960s, she was the only woman there who was not a secretary.

“When someone would come into the drafts room, they would immediately turn to me and ask, ‘Jean, would you ask so-and-so to make a cup of coffee,’ ” said Middleton.

When asked how she would respond, Middleton replied, “I got up and got it. There was no such thing as harassment.”

Women now make up about 20 percent of the architectural field, according to the American Institute of Architects. In the 1940s through the ’70s, however, women represented only 1.2 percent of the profession, according to Triangle Modernist Houses, a Web site that archives and promotes modernist residential design in North Carolina.

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