Pride Road architect Laura Simpkins struggled to find opportunities to continue doing what she loved in architecture and juggle family life with three children. Read her story about how she discovered the ability to see that work-family balance by becoming a Pride Road franchisee.

What’s Your Name And Where Are You Based?

My name is Laura Simpkins, I am based in Bournemouth and the New Forest area, head of Pride Road Bournemouth & New Forest.

What Were Your Challenges As An Architect Before Pride Road?

Before joining Pride Road, my challenge was that I had three children and wanted to work part-time. I found it difficult to work part-time because few women were working with families, and there wasn’t much understanding of my particular needs.

So although I worked 2-3 days a week for several years, I felt that I wasn’t getting promoted, and my career wasn’t progressing as I would have liked it. I was getting bored, and it wasn’t very fulfilling.

Why Did You Join Pride Road?

What made me join Pride Road is that I had come to a crossroads. I had left architecture for a couple of years. I had a rethink about a job that would suit my situation with three children. I needed to get more involved in work and wanted to work and do something I enjoyed.

I wanted to consolidate everything I’d learnt over the last few years. I decided I didn’t want to leave architecture and wanted to keep going.

When I discovered Pride Road, it felt like there was an opportunity to do things that were more suited to me. It harnessed my strengths, and there would be other people to help me along my way.

What’s the Best Thing About Working for Pride Road?

The best thing about working with Pride Road is the other people you’re with. I don’t think it would suit me working in my practice by myself and never seeing anybody.

I like being part of a team. I enjoy working collaboratively with people rather than competitively. Pride Road give us that feeling that we’re all individual architects in our areas. There’s no competition; we support each other, train together, and receive support.