Finegold Alexander's Senior Associate, Clair Colburn, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, LFA, and Associate, Mary McCarthy, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, were excited to attend the 2023 Women’s Leadership Summit, hosted by AIA National, in partnership with the Boston Society of Architects. This event served as a gathering point for a diverse network of women in the fields of architecture, design, and allied building industries, all of whom are making strides in their leadership journeys and shaping the careers to which they aspire. Here, we share some of the key highlights and insights we gained from this remarkable event:
Mary - Insights on Building Diverse Teams:
At the Women’s Leadership Summit, there was a profound emphasis on the importance of building diverse teams. Several valuable insights emerged, including:
- Inclusivity at the Table: One prominent strategy, championed by Boston Mayor Michele Wu, is to consistently ask, "Who is not at the table?" This question serves as a powerful reminder to ensure that diverse perspectives are represented.
- Shared Values: When assembling a diverse team, it's essential to establish common underlying values, such as respect and a strong work ethic. Embracing diverse viewpoints and experiences within these teams can lead to innovative and creative solutions.
- Client Expectations: Clients are increasingly concerned about diversity within design and construction teams. Therefore, benchmarking data is crucial to address this issue, both internally and through reputable organizations like ILFI or the UN.
Clair - Aurora James' Inspiring Message:
One particularly impactful takeaway from the AIA WLS 2023 came from Aurora James, who eloquently stated, "Stumbling is evidence of momentum." Ms. James is a visionary creator and advocate known for launching the 15 Percent Pledge. This initiative has motivated over 30 major companies across various industries to commit to dedicating 15% of their purchasing power to support Black-owned businesses. By 2030, this commitment is projected to generate an astonishing $1.4 trillion for Black entrepreneurs and business owners.
We were delighted to connect with so many inspiring individuals at the Women’s Leadership Summit and look forward to the possibility of reuniting with you all next year!