International Women's Day - Q&A with Studio Director, Cassandra Kirk

  Axiom Workplaces
  4 Min Read
Axiom Studio Director of Design and Strategy, Cassandra Kirk

For International Women’s Day 2024, we asked our Studio Director of Strategy & Design Cassandra Kirk, her insights and advice to fellow women striving for success in their careers.

Read the Q & A with Cass.

Q: Cassandra, as a Director of Strategy of Design and leader in your field, how have you navigated the challenges of balancing a successful career with your personal life, particularly as it relates to family responsibilities? 

It has always been and continues to be a balance; and I haven’t always gotten this balance right. I work to a theory that family will always come first but it is also very important to feel fulfilled and have a passion for the field in which you work. As they say if you find your thing, it’s not work.  

My passion (other than my family who I adore) is for great design, architecture, spaces and I believe very strongly on the effects environments have on us. I’ve always wanted to make space that enhances. Not just from the perspective of design aesthetic but true enhancements, how we can use built environments to problem solve and be better. I work hard on that and am committed to great results. 
Q: Can you share some strategies or techniques that have helped you maintain this balance between your professional and personal life?

I am very fortunate to have a supportive and understanding partner and family. I’m very busy during my week but I try to fit my working hours around my family so I can be present when needed. Personally, I’m an early starter and like to make the most of that time to do work, I go to the office early and then leave after work for family or personal time. I also feel it’s very important to work for a flexible and family friendly organisation, if you put in the effort, you will get the flexibility you need. 
Q: Have there been any specific moments or experiences in your career where you felt the tension between advancing professionally and fulfilling family obligations? How did you navigate those situations?

Absolutely, especially when my children were small. I think I had to be mindful that career progression and learning might not move as fast as I would have liked but at the end of the day your children only need you for a short time, so you must be there for that. It's very hard as parents, the guilt is real, and you do have to compromise and miss out sometimes. I try to make the most of all time I can have or give. Think quality. 

Q: You have an international trip planned, can you tell us about that?

The trip presents a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the success of our award-winning project, Wingate, and highlight the integral role our wrkx survey tool played in shaping the design to align with organsational goals.
We are excited to share this project, emphasising not only its visually appealing design but also the compelling post-occupancy data. The data underscores that Wingate has not only achieved an exceptional design aesthetic but has also significantly elevated the overall workplace experience. 
Our project collaboration with Wingate reflects their core belief that people are the cornerstone of their business success. We have focused the design to resonate with the Wingate client's ethos, drawing inspiration from their unique approach to hosting and creating a workspace that goes beyond the conventional. The result is a dynamic and functional environment that enhances the employee experience both within and beyond the workplace. 
We look forward to sharing these insights and celebrating the positive impact Wingate has had on fostering an enriched work atmosphere.
I am also looking forward to the opportunity to continue our collaboration with our partners coDesign and Woodalls and learning more about the success of new projects in the US and UK.
Q: Finally, what message would you like to share with women who are navigating similar challenges in their careers and personal lives? 

Interior Architecture and Construction is a particularly male dominated field and as a woman trying to progress and put your ideas out there, it can be challenging. I've been fortunate to receive fantastic opportunities that have allowed me to expand my experiences and continue learning, both through my own interests and the support of the organisations I've been a part of. I strongly advocate for women to embrace such opportunities, say yes, be a lifelong learner, identify your interests, become an expert in those areas, and consistently broaden your skills and knowledge.


IWD Axiom 2024 Sydney Team
 IWD Axiom 2024 Melbourne Team


Find out more about the Axiom Team.