Getting to Know…Johann Muldoon

Architect Johann Muldoon is managing director of Manor Architects. Mum to Conn (4), Erin (3) and one-year-old Jack, she was awarded an MBE in 2017 for her contribution to architecture and business.

Q: How did you get to where you are today?

A: By being extremely focused, driven and uncompromising, never deviating from my path for any reason and never compromising my integrity, honestly nor morality. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone starting out in business?

A: Never compromise your integrity, always aim to be the best not necessarily the cheapest, add value to all that you do and don’t be afraid to take a chance, have faith, have confidence, and above all surround yourself with people who are positive, talented and support you.

Q: Is there someone who inspires you to succeed?

A: Every person who ever doubted me, who continue to doubt me and who doubts any woman in the workplace. 

Q: Tell me about the greatest challenge you have faced.

A: The death of my mother, she died suddenly aged 55 from an epileptic seizure, she was my biggest supporter, fan, advocate, sounding board and mentor. 

Q: If you weren’t an architect what would you be?

A: Probably a barrister, having worked with them on a variety of planning applications and complex projects, I think it’s the one area that may also appeal to be.

In honesty I can’t imagine not being an architect. 

Q: What has been the high point in your career?

A: To date, receiving the honour of an MBE for my contribution to Architecture and to Business is a fairly high point.

Being awarded Best Women Architect in Europe and Queen’s Graduate of the Year are also some major highs.

Q: Can women have it all?

A: I’m not quite sure we can. I like to think I have, but I also feel incredibly lucky.

I think it’s a continual compromise, daily assessment and reassessment of priorities and, of course, being cognitively complex has its downside.

I like to think we can, but time can only tell that tale and I don’t expect all women feel like I do.

I’m extremely fortunate to have a job I truly love and am passionate about and a husband who is supportive and successful in this own right. 

Q: What’s the last book you read?

A: Women and Power: ‘A Manifesto by Mary Beard’, oh and ‘Room on a Broom’ by Julia Donaldson, it’s one of my particular favourites.

Q: When you’re not in the office, where can you be found?

A: Usually in a car, on a plane or on a site.

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