C+S February 2023 Vol. 9 Issue 2 (web)

What is

Founded by Zweig Group in 2019, ElevateHER® is about the future of the AEC industry. Each year, a cohort of up to 40 AEC profession - als from all over the country–and org Charts–join forces to develop and disseminate actionable plans that aim to solve the recruitment and retention crisis in the industry via the lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These actionable plans are made available to the entire AEC community and are ready for turn-key implementation. ElevateHER® was founded by Zweig Group’s managing principal and director of advisory services Jamie Claire Kiser. Although no one in 2019 could have fully predicted how turbulent the last few years have been, Kiser recognized the need for a new platform within the AEC industry–one that harnesses the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion to create real, tenable solutions to a better future for the AEC industry. Kiser developed the first concept for ElevateHER® when most people would be sleeping–on a midweek 2 am flight. Over the course of that three-hour flight she found herself contemplating the solution to workforce inconsistencies in the AEC industry–identifying pain

points and rigorously planning for the solution to the issue at hand. With this email, the concept for ElevateHER® was born. After proposing the concept to her colleagues, the team then began to research from Zweig Group’s own data. The results were crushing. 100 percent of women principals in the AEC industry had considered leaving compared to 49 percent for men. Furthermore, the data re - vealed that zero women were given any portion of their ownership for free, compared to men who responded “yes” to the same question 33 percent of the time. Consistently, the number one challenge identified by principals of Zweig Group’s Hot Firms was recruitment and retention. And, when it comes to recruitment and retention, the data once again told a similar story. Women are entering engineering and architecture programs at higher rates than ever, but they aren’t staying. To compound this, the women who are staying and growing into leadership roles have seri - ously considered leaving the AEC industry altogether.




February 2023

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