TZL 1407 (web)



This year’s cohort has picked up where last year’s group left off – taking on creative ideas to solve both historic and emerging challenges. Zweig Group’s 2021 ElevateHER cohort

E levateHER is Zweig Group’s commitment to promote diversity and equity in the AEC industry. With recruitment and retention still the number one challenge faced by industry principals, it’s more important than ever to focus on recruiting and retaining the best and brightest in the industry. To do that, firms need to continue to attract new individuals to the industry, and also need to make sure they keep knowledgeable and valuable people employed in the industry.

Christina Zweig Niehues

For 2021, ElevateHER assembled a cohort based on applications from every firm type, job role, geography, and experience level. This group met virtually and broke into five different project teams, each concentrating on a particular challenge or focus area in order to provide an end product that would be useful and able to make a measurable impact on the AEC industry. The output of each of these groups will be presented over the course of Zweig Group’s Virtual ElevateAEC Conference & ElevateHER Symposium from September 13-October 7. The group topics are as follows: MENTHER MATCH: Caitlin Pennington, Christine Manhart, Johnathon Postell, Julia Jack, Lauren Lint, Maria Lucio, Stephanie Teetes (September 16, 2021 1 p.m. CST) ❚ ❚ MentHer Match proposes to develop the foundation for a web-based mentor-mentee matching service that will broaden the scope of available mentoring by enlarging the pool of mentors, removing the inherent conflicts typically encountered when mentors and mentees belong to the same company, and, at full roll-

out, provide an automated, algorithm-based matching protocol analogous to common dating services. There is an identified need for mentoring of women and other minorities in the AEC industry to prevent the “pipeline leak” that results in the steady decrease in representation of these classes throughout the track of a career. MentHer Match will increase the pool of available mentors across a wider range of mentees than is typically available in any given firm. By including the entire AEC industry and negating geographic impediments to the mentor-mentee relationship, MentHer Match allows for mentees to connect with people at every stage of their career. THE RIGHT FIT: Erin Conway, LaTonya Horhn, Susan Dawson, Katie Batill-Bigler (September 28, 2021, 1 p.m. CST) ❚ ❚ This group has identified a lack of value placed on enabling a sufficient work-life balance (or more appropriately, “fit”) for individuals within AEC firms. A lack of work-life fit policies has had a negative impact on recruitment and is a leading cause of burnout and dissatisfaction resulting in decreased productivity



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