O P I N I O N
N ationally, 20 percent of engineering bachelor’s degrees are earned by women and 25 percent by people of color. In the Midwest, only 11 percent of civil engineers are women and just 10 percent are people of color. These numbers are not reflective of the communities in which we live and work. We must work intentionally to remove barriers and provide opportunities in our industry for people of all backgrounds. Designing a more diverse AEC industry
workforce is a responsibility that falls on all of us. We must work intentionally to remove barriers and provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because diverse companies are strong companies and are more reflective of the communities we serve. Our traditional approach “We needed to find a way to recruit and develop from all communities and to build role models. By reaching all our communities, building trust, and developing role models, we felt we could make an impact.”
At WSB, we had to take action and do better. Our CEO and co-founder of WSB, Bret Weiss, recognized that there were many programs to encourage individuals to consider STEM degrees, but there was a significant lack of role models. Many positions in our industry are being internally trained by organizations and we are no different. However, our recruiting consisted of word of mouth from our existing staff. That only produces candidates from the same communities that already exist in our company. We needed to find a way to recruit and develop from all communities and to build role models. By reaching all our communities, building trust, and developing role models, we felt we could make an impact.
See LAURA RESCORLA, page 12
Building a talented pipeline and a strong
THE ZWEIG LETTER APRIL 12, 2021, ISSUE 1387
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