Striving to ElevateHer

WRITTEN BY SHANNON ACEVEDO, AICP, MDG SENIOR PLANNER

ElevateHer is a movement to ensure equal opportunities in the AEC industry for everyone regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. It was inspired by the realization that the industry is challenged by women not entering or staying in the fields of engineering, architecture, construction and related fields at the same rate as men. In addition, there still remains a salary gap between men and women in leadership roles.

Headed by Zweig Group, I decided to participate in the first ever class of go-getters in the industry to face this challenge and come up with solutions to close these gaps. We met as a group for a three day work session in March of 2020 in Dallas, TX to distill these issues and concerns, share research and stories, and then divide up into teams to brainstorm ideas to address the problem. Rather than a “conference”, this experience was more like an intense workshop with Shark Tank style pitches required by each team on the last day. No pressure!

I don’t want to give away what our team is proposing just yet, but I can tell you that it seeks to promote diverse, healthy businesses within our industry by providing tools and data that will help translate the nebulous topic of diversity to something people can actually put their finger on. Over the course of the next few months, I will be working with my team to iron out our plan and formally present our solution to help close the gap during the September 2020 Zweig conference in Denver, CO.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ZWEIG GROUP

Groups of women sitting around round tables facing a presenter in the back of the room



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