O P I N I O N
AEC firm leaders must actively support and empower female employees so their visibility does not vanish in the remote workplace. Women in remote-work environments
M en and women working outside of the office tend to be less visible and can often be passed over for career advancement opportunities. That’s a real concern, from an equity standpoint, as researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that despite remote employees having improved work satisfaction, their promotion rate fell. The recent transition to remote work for many in the AEC industry has made this concern critical for all staff, but especially for women. According to McKinsey, for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted. Companies and AEC leaders must keep women advised and empowered to seize important career opportunities in our new modern work environment.
My firm, Urban Engineers, implemented a flexible remote work policy as a result of COVID and we have taken steps to focus on equity and help use “cultural glue” to keep staff engaged, empowered, and ultimately, visible to their colleagues, even when they are not seeing each other in person. A key way to make sure women are not being overlooked in the remote workplace is to highlight their accomplishments wherever possible. Managers need to take notice of the activities of staff, and promote good work through the many channels
we now have available to us. Internal newsletters, social media, email blasts, and even group chat programs like Teams or Slack are avenues to be used to promote the work of all your employees, especially women. If managers are aware of a remote employee’s success story, they need to bring that forward. Perhaps the person’s work was essential to complete a project or provided an innovative approach to solve a problem – all of it done remotely. Firms need to highlight and celebrate employee
See KENNETH FULMER, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER JANUARY 24, 2022, ISSUE 1425
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