But instead of going mad, I returned to work and redoubled my efforts to prove two things: the importance of value engineering and the importance of women in the profession. Reinvigorated by my art, I fought and made dramatic presentations at work, while overlooking the sniping of colleagues. "You're acting just like my wife," someone snipped at me once at a meeting as I insisted on trashing the plans for the foundations of a major structure.
As the wife of pianist Artur Papazian, whose 1985 debut at Carnegie Hall prompted The New York Times to rhapsodize about his "seamless piano technique, virtuosic but never ostentatious," I know the power of persistence, whether in practicing an instrument or in convincing colleagues to consider better approaches to design. Am I ostentatious? I wouldn't describe myself as such. But at meetings where I have been the only woman in a room of 20 to 30 men, I have not shied away from making a scene to avoid being silenced.