Pictured (from left): Tom White, Wayshalee Patel, Elizabeth Lamere, Danielle Koren, Jill Liska, Chris Woods, Carmann Matherne, Tom Behringer, Todd Hansenn, Peter Kelley.
November 8, 2019 - Sargent & Lundy employees attended the Crain’s Chicago Business Woman Up Event where leading Chicago executives came together to examine how diversity improves workplace culture and impacts the bottom line.
Members of Sargent & Lundy’s Women’s Professional Network invited members of the firm’s leadership team, including Sargent & Lundy President & CEO Tom White, to attend the event with them.
“We extended the invite to male members on our leadership team as well because elevating and empowering women and minorities in the workplace requires everyone’s involvement regardless of background,” said General Counsel Jill Liska. “It was great to have their support and know they recognize this isn’t just a women’s issue.”
Speakers at the event included Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago; Melissa Bean, president and CEO of Mesirow Financial Wealth Advisors, and Diane Primo, founder and CEO of IntraLink Global.
“I thought the event and speakers were fantastic. Each brought their own perspective based on their experiences,” said Sargent & Lundy Women’s Professional Network member Wayshalee Patel. “The speakers did a great job of illustrating the importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace so that employees feel valued which can lead to them feeling more inspired to imagine new ways to approach their work.”
Promoting diversity and inclusion is particularly important in the engineering field where there’s a distinct gender gap. According to the Society of Women Engineers, only 13% of engineers are women, and 30% of women who have left the engineering profession cite organizational climate as the reason.
Sargent & Lundy is committed to fostering a culturally diverse company culture and empowering women in engineering through recruiting efforts, internal initiatives, its involvement in the Society of Women Engineers, and support of a variety of community involvement efforts to diversify the engineering pathway.
“My main takeaway from the discussion was that, when it comes to diversity, everyone brings their own unique perspective and background, and there’s room for everyone at the table,” said Sargent & Lundy Women’s Professional Network member Danielle Koren. “The key is to be open to new people and new ideas.”