Founded in 2010, SOM Women’s Initiative (SOMWI) creates a positive impact in the AEC industry by advancing women at all levels of our firm worldwide. We challenge institutional barriers to gender equity, bias, and systemic discrimination by promoting intersectionality and awareness, fostering mentorship and retention, and providing opportunities for professional growth and development. We are building the pipeline for women leaders at SOM by holding leadership accountable, leveraging metrics to pinpoint issues and target solutions, and diversifying our recruitment efforts from a wider array of educational institutions. We promote an equitable and just workplace not only for women, but for all identity groups, including our BIPOC and LGBTQ+ colleagues.
While focusing on promoting fellowship and providing resources within the firm, SOM Women’s Initiative also seeks opportunities for broader engagement—with our peers in the industry, community organizations, and future professionals. In recent years, we have collaborated with similar initiatives at peer firms to support professional development, volunteered with organizations to increase their reach and impact, and created an annual shadowing program to help students bridge the transition from education to their career.
Constantly looking for opportunities to strengthen the role of women in the AEC industry, we use metrics to evaluate our progress and understand where more effort is needed. Our work will not be done until we have achieved complete gender parity within our leadership, our firm, and our industry.