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 continues 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 me.
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.