Today we are celebrating International Women’s Day 2023 and have chosen to highlight a wonderful selection of truly inspirational women who are vital members of the commercial interiors sector, each playing a different role. We spoke with Emily Marzocchi about being an inspiration to others, the women she celebrates, the advice she gives as a mentor and the potential impact of greater gender equality on her work.
Please could you introduce yourself and your role?G.A Group. Being amazed by how deeply spaces around us can affect us, I started developing a real passion for Interior Design when, at 14 yo, I started studying it in High School in Italy, then proceeded with an Undergraduate Course at Middlesex University. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I have highlighted in a paper the issues and benefits of genderless spaces, drawing the biggest attention on the restrooms in particular, from an interior design stand-point. I won a number of Nationwide design competitions, until in 2021, I won the NEWH UK Chapter Scholarship Competition. Since then, I have been volunteering in the NEWH Board of Directors as Scholarships Chair (2022) and as Secretary and Internet Communications chair (2023), always trying to catch every possible occasion to be more involved in the field. What does it feel like to be inspired by, and inspire, people around you? I was very lucky to be called in by Middlesex University, from which I graduated in 2022 with First Class Honors degree, to talk to the current students and future designers about the scary path from student to work-life. It was amazing getting a chance to share my personal experience, mistakes and advice, low-key hoping to inspire the struggling students to keep going because they will see the results at the end of university. Pushing them to create connections and attend events, participate in any activity, subscribe to every membership (most of which are free for students) and take all the student-friendly opportunities the industry has to offer. Which inspirational women do you celebrate? I feel very lucky to have been supported by my whole family from the beginning of my career, taking me where I am now, working everyday with extraordinary people. I am very happy to have now the opportunity to specially thank the brilliant women that have supported and inspired me, consciously or otherwise. One special shout-out to my NEWH UK Chapter family to which I am endlessly grateful. Becoming a member of the Board of Directors allowed me to get to know some of the most inspiring and supportive women I’ve ever met, women who inspire me in everything they do professionally and in their spare time.My name is Emily Marzocchi, I am an Interior Designer currently working for
What are three pieces of advice you have received from your female mentors?It is very hard to limit to 3 pieces of advice, all the knowledge I gained from the people, especially the women, I’m surrounded by everyday. But it can be summarised in concepts I live by everyday. Keep your head down, clearly define and focus on your goals, do not get distracted by what is socially constructed and perceived as the general goal. Society defines what is ultimately expected from us as women, but do not mind that, as cliche as this may sound, go by your own rules and achieve your own goals. Find the one thing that you like doing and invest in that, spend time doing that, because doing something you dislike sometimes is just not worth you time. Would greater gender equality create a more sustainable future for our sector and what would that entail? Recently graduating from University, I have still noticed an issue in the employability of the older female members of my class. The pattern repeated in multiple cases highlighting what seemed to be an issue in trusting these women’s future priorities, related to the current social understanding of women planning family when getting older. Resulting from my dissertation research, the pandemic had a major impact in changing how the ‘standard family’ behaves, the role of the father became more about being home and involved with family matters. Hopefully, in the near future, this will bridge the gender gap between the way society perceives the role of a woman in building a family while maintaining a functioning and successful work-life.