Celebrating Women in Lighting and Design

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March 8, 2023

Celebrating Women in Lighting

Last August, BEGA had the opportunity to learn more about Women in Lighting and Design (WILD), a prominent women-led network in our industry, and to sponsor one of their events. In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the WILD organization, celebrate women in our industry, and share advice for people who are pursuing a career in this field.
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About WILD

WILD began meeting casually in the 1990s, coming together because of a need for community and networking opportunities for women in the lighting industry. What started out as a small group has grown into an established organization with multiple chapters nationwide. Their mission is to provide the lighting community an inclusive and open environment for professional and personal growth by offering networking, mentorship, and knowledge sharing.

Learn more about WILD

“WILD SF has been creating carefully curated experiences that celebrate and support women since 2019, building opportunities for engagement, inspiration and education while fostering a sense of community. We provide a space where women can connect and grow their networks, helping to enrich their work experience while learning from the WILD women that have paved the way in the lighting industry.”

Haley Laurence, WILD SF Chapter Leader

Women in Lighting and Design

Architecture and lighting has long been a male-dominated field, and we want to take time to celebrate women in lighting and design, by recognizing the value women bring to our industry. Women’s artistry, talent, and unique perspective are crucial to creating built environments with designs that are innovative, artistic, functional, and that create an emotional experience for users of the space.

Equality for women in the lighting industry begins with equity. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion. Addressing the inequities in our industry like the gender pay gap, coverage and recognition of female designers and architects, support systems, and networking opportunities are just some of the ways we can get closer to equality.

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“I am sure that as a woman I can do a very good skyscraper.”

Zaha Hadid

Advice from Women in Lighting

“[While this advice is universal to everyone, you should] always be open to opportunities that present themselves – even if they don’t align with your vision for your life plan. You may end up on an unexpected path that becomes a passion.

Be comfortable with understanding what your weaknesses and blind spots are – the first step to growing in those areas is to know what they are.”

Jill Cody, Principal, Dark Light Design

“Besides being passionate and ever-curious about what you do, my advice would be to not be ashamed of who you are or any hardships you face- this is what makes you unique and gives you an individual design eye.  Find people to work with who will understand and support you.”

Haley Bendis, Designer, Pritchard Peck

“When you’re applying and negotiating for your salary, just always add $10,000 above what you think you’re going to make, because women often don’t ask for enough salary."

Carrie Walker, Senior Lighting Designer/PM, CD+M Lighting Design Group

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WILD x IALD Event in San Francisco

Last August, BEGA sponsored and attended an event held by the San Francisco chapters of Women in Lighting and Design and the International Association of Lighting Designers. We were pleased to support these organizations and celebrate an outstanding project in our community.

“For our August event, WILD SF joined together with International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) SF on a foggy summer day for a tour of the recently opened Presidio Tunnel Tops, brought to life by an all-female led construction team. Attendees enjoyed socializing amongst the trees while enjoying sweeping panoramic views of the SF Bay, followed by group tours of the park by the HLB Lighting Design team. Thanks to our wonderful sponsors like BEGA that make these events possible! We couldn't do it without your support.”

- Haley Laurence, WILD SF Chapter Leader

Presidio Tunnel Tops

The Presidio Tunnel Tops is a 14-acre public park and community space where the people of San Francisco and visitors can enjoy the outdoors. HLB Lighting was responsible for the exquisite lighting design in the space, and used lighting visual hierarchy to create a space with safe, comfortable illumination while also limiting light pollution in the areas closer to the San Francisco Bay. At the event in August, project designers provided tours of the park and explained the lighting design choices throughout the space.

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