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

Past Projects

Members: Amanda Prosser, PLA

Christina Turner Karen Purcell, PE Kim Pham, EIT Misela Gonzales-Vandewalle, AIA Nicole Morris Dress, AIA Empower Space (2022)

The founding goal of the ElevateHER® program is to create action - able plans that address and solve the problems underpinning the AEC industry’s ongoing struggles with the recruitment and retention of talent. Each new cohort is organized into teams, and these teams work together to create programs that do just that. The results of these projects are tangible, and teams have found no limit to their creativity in past years. Here are some of the industry-changing ideas that were formed at previous ElevateHER events that are continuing to shape the AEC industry: We Are AEC (2022) Problem: When one googles “architect” or “contractor,” the images that appear don’t represent the diversity of the various professions. For instance, women are more than 35 percent of registered architects and 20 percent of firm leaders, yet less than 2 percent of images of archi - tects feature women. The situation is much worse for engineering and contractors. While some may feel the imagery depicts the current real - ity, they don’t, and they certainly don’t reflect the reality of the future. Thesis: We Are AEC expands the awareness of the AEC industry within the general public through imagery, reinforcing the premise that people from many different walks of life can find fulfillment within these careers. Proposal: Super Bowl ads are a major premise that reaches a wide range of people, but they are very expensive. To raise funds, Team We Are AEC proposed to sell t-shirts that say “We are AEC | Architecture | Engineering | Construction and “I am…” with the options to insert a label including careers such as marketer, drone driver, data analyst, CFO, etc. To encourage knowledge of the project, we’ll ask everyone who re - ceives the T-shirt to post a video of themselves on social media stating “I am…” and sharing what they like best about that career. Once enough funds are raised, We Are AEC will create a Super Bowl ad that is a compilation of the “I am…” videos with additional professional content.

Thesis: Due to fear of speaking up, people are finding increased job dissatisfaction leading to people exiting the workforce and not moving up to higher level roles. Self-advocacy, confidence, and assertiveness are meaningful tools that everyone can use to increase their job satis - faction by being an active contributor to their own success. Unfortu - nately, the opportunities to learn these skills are not evenly distributed in the workforce. By creating an easily accessible space that is curated to address the common issues and provides an opportunity for mentor - ship when you need it, more people can learn to speak up. By building off MentHER Match and Elevators, we intend to provide internet and media options to help employees not feel alone and gain real world examples of finding their voice. Objectives: Provide testimonials and additional resources to navigate some of the most common stressful situations that underrepresented professionals are facing within their career. Long term objectives: • Collaborate with other organizations to increase their resources, ac - cess to mentorship, and testimonies by either including them in this program or linking their program to this one • Grow podcasts each month to include new episodes and topics that can be searched by date, subject, or name • Create a plan for the ideas and concepts developed by the Empower Space team to be sustainable and carry on in the future Members:

Hillary Crabb Kristin Worrell Melissa Frausto Michele Spinowitz Rachel Paterno Sam Collins






February 2023

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