Advanced Certified Coach with the Gaia Project for Women's Leadership
Myers-Briggs Certified Practitioner
Licensed Architect in the State of New York
Founder of Photosanity, helping parents find joy and connection through photographing their kids
An Advanced Certified Coach with the Gaia Project for Women’s Leadership and a Myers-Briggs Certified Practitioner, I’m also the founder of Photosanity, where I help parents find joy and connection through photographing their kids.
My background, however, is in architecture - I have a BArch from Pratt Institute and almost 20 years of experience as a licensed architect in NYC managing workplace strategy and corporate headquarters projects.
I’ve worked for clients such as Time Warner, Nike, Sony, Nokia, MTV Networks, Aileron, and Alexander McQueen. I have held leadership positions at STUDIOS Architecture, Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership and, most recently, Gensler.
Born and brought up in the UK, I’ve lived Brooklyn since going to college here, now with my husband and my two boys, currently aged 9 and 6.
Those are my basic credentials out of the way.
What my varied background means is that in my work now I’m bringing all the strands from various parts of my life together.
I’ve always been passionate about supporting women, and my commitment and ability to put my unique talents and experiences towards this end has never been clearer. At the same time, as a woman of color, immigrant daughter to immigrant parents (I guess you would call me a British Born Asian American although if you google this, there is literally nothing!) I am aware and have personal experience with how race compounds things.
I know what it’s like to be the only woman in the room, and I know what it’s like to be the only non-white person in the room.
And what I’ve seen, and what I hear from the women I work with, is that women are both underutilized and overused - underutilized because they are working at a fraction of their potential, but overused because they are overworked.
Women, especially women of color, are used as workhorses. Because they are talented, passionate and committed, they get the work done, and so they get given more and more work, but without the trust and autonomy that would allow them to grow as much as they could.
Or when they are allowed to grow, it is at tremendous personal cost.
This doesn’t just hurt women, or people of color, or anyone suffering under any form of systemic discrimination or oppression - this hurts everyone.
Think of the work and the value and benefits we could collectively experience from the creativity and innovation and productivity that we would unleash if we could support ALL of our people in aligning with the greatest value that they could offer towards making the world a better place.
Here’s what I see - well-meaning companies and organizations, along with well-meaning leaders and managers (both men and women) who WANT to support women and to be more inclusive, but either they don’t know how, or their efforts are not creating the intended results.
And I see hard-working, ambitious, and to a large degree successful women hitting walls and becoming stuck with no way out except… out. Incredible talent is demoralized and walking out the door, and the cost not just to individuals but to their companies is great.
“Help me out of my cage, Alethea,” one of my clients said to me recently.
“Your talk was one of the most inspiring and exciting events I’ve been to, and I feel even more inspired and excited now,” said another.
As an outsider to a company, organization or individual, I can hold space for both the company and the individual’s best interests and see opportunities for where and how to align them.
My special talent is in assessing current conditions, listening to and validating concerns and needs, and envisioning possibilities - creating the vision in collaboration with those involved, but also seeing the steps that are needed to turn that vision into a reality.
I help people, teams, and organizations get unstuck - I combine compassion with action to get things done.
I am naturally passionate, energetic and committed to what I believe in.
As an architect, I’ve worked for a small 4-person firm, various mid-sized firms, and the largest architecture firm in the world
I’ve managed multi-million dollar contracts, projects as large as 1.4m square feet, and a team that was billing at up to $100K/week
I’ve negotiated six and seven figure contracts and change orders
I’ve presented to billionaire company owners, as well as CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives at major brands
I’ve helped to pitch and win major architectural projects
I’ve helped to manage multi-million dollar profit centers - assigning resources, designing a performance evaluation system, reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates, leading in-house strategic planning, implementing team and professional development programs and providing project manager training
I believe that when we allow people to align with the greatest value that they can create, their innate preferences, and what naturally energizes them, and when they can understand how to help others to do the same, we can all increase our impact without sacrificing ourselves or others in the process.
I believe in the power of acceptance as a means of understanding what is - it doesn’t mean we have to like it or that we can’t work towards changing it, but we first have to face the reality of where we are starting from.
I believe that boundaries are essential to protect ourselves and each other, and that being assertive means advocating for ourselves without stepping on others.
I believe in speaking up and using our voices, but also in understanding the reasons why this might be hard or downright dangerous for ourselves or others to do so.
I believe that understanding the four levels of oppression (internalized, interpersonal, institutional and systemic) and how they are interrelated is foundational in bringing about change.
I believe that inclusive leadership leads to increased creativity and innovation.
I believe that community has the power to dismantle existing hierarchies that are harmful to all.
I believe that we need to listen with the same passion that we want to be heard.
I believe that cultivating women, including women of color, as leaders will make the world a better place for all.
Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick is a women’s leadership and team development consultant. Her mission is to help companies and organizations cultivate women as leaders through inclusive models of leadership that will make the world a better place for all. She helps leaders and teams align with their values and what naturally energizes them in order to do their best work without sacrificing themselves or others in the process.
An Advanced Certified Coach with the Gaia Project for Women’s Leadership and an MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Certified Practitioner, Alethea is also the founder of Photosanity, where she helps parents find joy and connection through photographing their kids.
Alethea was previously a licensed architect with almost 20 years of experience managing workplace strategy and corporate headquarters projects for clients such as Time Warner, Nike, Sony, Nokia, MTV Networks, Aileron, and Alexander McQueen. She was an Associate at STUDIOS Architecture, Senior Associate at Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, and Associate and Senior Project Manager at Gensler.
Born and brought up in the UK, Alethea lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her 9 and 6 year old boys.
Alethea has been interviewed on 1010WINS and featured in The Daily Mail, Cool Mom Picks, Apartment Therapy, Ask Moxie, Mom365, The Gaia Project for Women's Leadership, and A Child Grows in Brooklyn.
Alethea writes about diversity, inclusion, gender and race on Patreon. She is also the Co-Founder of Going There: Brave Spaces for Healthy Conversations About Race and COO for the Gaia Project for Women's Leadership.