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From the 2024 ElevateHER Symposium

From the 2024 ElevateHER Symposium

The ElevateHER Symposium kicked off from the Rayleigh Underground on March 6th.  The excitement was palpable in Irving, Texas as the event’s host, Marci D. Thompson, took the stage.  ElevateHER co-founded Jamie Claire Kiser provided opening remarks, encouraging those in attendance to “find their anchor.”

The 2024 ElevateHER Symposium was split between keynote speakers, past project presentations, workshops, and panel discussions.  The day’s first keynote address came from Tia Perry, Executive Director of AEC Unites, who shared her story of catalyzing change on a relentless path to leadership.  Perry spoke about adopting a determined mindset to overcome challenges associated with professional growth in the AEC industry.  Outlining the business case for DEI, Perry encouraged audience members to build bridges of collaboration and to harness the power of relationships.  

After engaging in a workshop designed to begin moving ideas to action, those in attendance heard from the ElevateHER group TeacHER 2.0.  The group was founded by members of the 2023 cohort after exploring the connection between literacy and recruitment & retention.  TeacHER 2.0 defines this connection by developing AEC programming and toolkits for 2nd and 3rd grade students and distributing them by partnering with local libraries.  Among the schedule of keynote speakers and engagement activities, the next session was a panel discussion between Daphne Bryant and Lauren Aguilar.  The session, titled “Leading with Data”, explored the state of diversity, equity, inclusion, & belonging within the AEC industry.  Within this topic, the panelist fielded questions specific to creating meaningful work for younger generations and the need to commit to more sustainable hiring practices.  

The next keynote speaker was Daniela Ramirez, who reflected on the impact of policies aimed at enhancing upward economic mobility for historically under championed communities.  During her talk, Ramirez outlined the importance of regaining momentum through things like creativity & innovation and community engagement.  The event’s final session featured keynote speaker Aine O’Dwyer, Principal and CEO of Enovate, who shared her story of driving firm success through DEI initiatives.  O’Dwyer points out that there is a prevailing need to debunk myths surrounding DEI by building collaborative bridges

For more information about the ElevateHER program, and to keep up with the latest projects, follow this link to the ElevateHER homepage.