Having previously worked for Mace Group, and as an Associate at RG+P Architects where she was responsible for winning work, developing clients, and growing the size of the practice, Tara now runs her own architectural practice in London, Gbolade Design Studio (GDS).
Why did you get involved in the Fluid Programme?
I initially joined the Fluid programme as a mentee to get a feel and understanding of how the programme worked.
After successfully being introduced to and paired with a brilliant mentor, Anna Wilson, who assisted me in taking the necessary actions to developing my career, I was convinced it was an experience other people should have access to, and I wanted to play a part of assisting that process.
Following my experience of getting inside access to a leader in her field further along in the profession that I was passionate about, and who I could contact regularly to bounce ideas off, I felt it was my responsibility to try and empower other people the way I had been empowered.
As a result, I applied to become a mentor and was paired with Silvia, an ambitious and hardworking mentee.
My role is to encourage and challenge mentees to take the necessary steps in fulfilling their desires for their careers, taking responsibility for their own growth in an industry where even the best professionals can often become jaded by if guidance is not available.
How has the Fluid Programme impacted on you?
This programme has allowed me to develop my leadership skills. By meeting regularly with my mentee, I have often used this time to draw out of her what she already has an inkling of, but not the necessary confidence or skill to pursue.
Through the Fluid programme, I believe I have become a more sympathetic leader in the workplace, providing more opportunities for informal conversations with my team, and encouraging team members on an individual basis.
Finally, the new group of professionals I have met through the Fluid programme has enriched my network and will provide an important resource for collaboration and mutual assistance in the future.
Why do you think others should get involved with the Fluid Programme?
I believe that participating in this programme provides a different perspective on the everyday requirements of project and practice management.
From a mentoring perspective, it offers the opportunity to understand the salient issues colleagues may be experiencing and encourages a mentor to address them in a non-threatening manner. This, in turn, instigates better team relationships, more committed staff, better quality production, and eventually contributes not only to a positive practice environment but a greater bottom line.