hostAgE Crisis

Architects and some engineers have an inherent lack of value in themselves and their service – this creates liquidity issues when they accept being paid inappropriate fees and late or derelict payment by clients. We need to expose this issue, raise awareness that it is prevalent, shared, mutually challenging, and creating a negative ripple effect across the industry. We must create contract language or fee negotiation structures to advocate for us, educate the next generation, and change this undervalued treatment. By increasing fees and/or ensuring prompt payment, we can stay liquid and profitable – allowing us to attract, maintain, and train top talent and restore the pride and dynamism of the Industry.

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Emily Havelka

Corporate Communications Leader at HED

Laura Morton

Senior Associate at SSOE Group


MentHERship builds upon ‘mentHER’, a project from the 2021 ElevateHER cohort, to address the lack of accessible mentorship opportunities in the AEC industry by facilitating intentional and personalized matches. The group identified two key objectives: 1) Refine and complete the “”matchmaking”” survey started by the 2021 mentHER team; and 2) Develop a framework with an emphasis on mentor resources and training, providing discussion topics, establishing milestones, and focusing on commitment and follow-through.

These two objectives will help address the following key issues with many of the existing mentorship opportunities in the AEC industry: 1) Limited to mentors within the individual’s company, 2) Inability to expand network beyond local mentors, 3) Lack of mentors from diverse backgrounds to break down silos, and 4) Lack of clear expectations of the time commitment.

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Amy Kunselman

Sustainment and Logistics Analyst, Technical Writer and Billing Administrator at QTEC Aerospace

Andrea Narendorf

Director of Business Development for Flatiron Construction

Carmen Pemsler

Project Engineer at Tamarack Grove Engineering

Jessica Bazán

Senior Associate and Business Development Leader at O’Connell Robertson

Lalitha Benjaram

ERG Program Coordinator at Mead & Hunt

Shelby Harvey

Talent Development & HR Director at BHC

Stephanie Putzke

Owner and Principal at Cyntergy


Data continues to show that opportunities for women and other minority to be promoted into leadership within the AEC industry are disproportional, and at times, lacking, at all levels. To ensure equity at all levels in an org chart, Team PromoteHER works to create a readily-accessible hub of resources to help women and other minorities identify their personal and professional strengths, and empowers them to promote their value and advocate for their own career advancement and recognition. In addition to this online toolkit and resource hub, PromoteHER will also create a journal that mirrors the content and provide a space for individuals to track their professional skillset and value, reflect on their goals and achievements, and determine the next steps for their careers.

Mission: Retain women and minorities in the AEC industry by promoting equitable advancement opportunities, from the start of their internship through retirement, for all. Equitable career advancement in AEC will become the standard at every company, women and other minorities will no longer feel like they need to go out on their own for recognition and ownership.

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Adrienne Taylor

Division Manager at SSOE

Amanda Thomas

Civil Engineer at ISG

Kara Koenig

Interior Architect and Designer at Hoefer Welker

Laci Budd

Senior Marketing Specialist at BHC

M. Jackie Chang

MEP Engineering Project Manager at DBR


Many AEC firms are struggling to hire due to a shrinking workforce. In addition, there is a lack of awareness and interest about the AEC field amongst youth. Our group will expand on the work originally completed by the TeacHER group by focusing on the outreach to younger children in that critical life stage when they are starting to learn to read and develop a better understanding of the world around them.

Leveraging the collective power of public libraries will be our key delivery method for our content; because they serve as educational outlet, community hub, and cultural institution.

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Amanda Roehl

Fractional-CMO at Pixels and Ink Studio

Chad Coldiron

Principal and Director of Executive Search at Zweig Group

Kellie Delaney

Director of Marketing at HP Engineering, INC


Objectives: Compile resources, anecdotal evidence, research, and data, as well as metrics collected by previous ElevateHER cohorts and Zweig Group, that support our assertion that a growth mindset is key to implementing DEI initiatives and improving recruitment, retention, and culture at AEC organizations.

Mission: Create a Growth Mindset Framework that can be leveraged by change agents at AEC organizations togain buy-in from leadership for, and to assist in implementation of, DEI initiatives.

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Alejandra Ruiz

Civil Engineer at LACO Associates

Alicia Albini

Director of Large-Scale Residential Development at WithersRavenel

Katie Fitzpatrick

Marketing & Communications Coordinator at Galloway & Company, Inc

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