On Wednesday, June 22nd, the SOM Women’s Initiative (SOMWI) recently hosted a fireside chat event with White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. In addition to being a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Jarrett oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls.
During the moderated conversation, Jarrett discussed her background in the public and private sectors and her efforts to champion equality and opportunities through her work at the White House. Jarrett, who is the former Planning Commissioner of Chicago, also fielded questions on how architects, engineers, planners, and designers can help address systemic issues surrounding high-density urban environments.
The SOM Women's Initiative was established in 2011 to cultivate and promote the continued development and success of women at SOM and within the design disciplines. SOMWI aims to encourage a sense of community and professional support within the firm through various mentoring programs, workshops, and internal networks.