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Impact through recognition: What Women’s History Month means to Wold

Wold Team

At Wold, we recognize the power of diverse perspectives and are committed to ensuring all voices are represented and heard. Within the historically male-dominated architecture industry, women make up only 17 percent of licensed architects. While progress has certainly been made over the last few years, we realize there’s still a way to go. We’re dedicated to playing a role in that progress.

This year, to commemorate Women’s History Month and the female trailblazers who have paved the way for progress in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, we asked our leaders to share about the women and projects that inspire them and make a difference in their lives. We believe uplifting women and promoting inclusivity is a duty to be shared by all, and we’re excited to share our leaders’ thoughts on how to create a more equitable future for the AEC industry.

One thing that holds true is that there’s no supporting women without everyone getting on board. At Wold, we asked one question consistently to team members of all backgrounds and genders:

In one word, what does Women’s History Month mean to you and why?

Melissa Stein, Architect at Wold’s Minnesota office
Joel Dunning, Partner at Wold’s Minnesota office
Mike Eichhorn, Education Planner at Wold’s Illinois office

Aside from the important words and significance behind the month itself, we dug a little deeper into what it means to support, encourage and create spaces for women across our company and communities.

What’s the legacy you’d like to see Wold leave in the industry as it pertains to equity and diversity?

Joel Dunning, Partner at Wold’s Minnesota office
: I would like to see Wold continue to provide the opportunity for learning, growth and leadership to all employees. I hope to see the diverse perspectives represented within our company continue to take a stronger role in the active leadership of Wold.

What is one quality every great leader should possess, and how have the women in your life helped you develop that quality?

Roger Schroepfer, Partner at Wold’s Colorado office
: Many of the women I have had the pleasure of collaborating with have been leaders in enacting change in the architecture and engineering industry. One of the qualities of a great leader is the ability to influence and make an impact on the people and industry around you. The word “impact” has two distinct definitions that could be applied to Women’s History Month. The first is the ‘force upon which one object collides with another,’ and women have long been a force that has guided a collision to break into historically male-dominated fields, including architecture and engineering. Impact can also refer to the power to influence or effect change – a quality I have witnessed in many of my female clients and colleagues. I appreciate the skill required to confidently compel others to think differently or understand a new perspective.

How does women’s history make an impact on the way you lead your life and pave the way for the future of all women?

Melissa Stein, Architect at Wold’s Minnesota office
: When I think about women’s history, I feel grateful for those who paved the way for me and fought for equal rights. Being the mother of two small girls, I’m thankful that I get the chance to be a role model for them and continue pushing for a better future. I’m excited to see what the younger generations can accomplish knowing that any barriers can be removed with the help of a strong, supportive woman.

How does Wold assist in the elevation of women into leadership positions?

Kaylee Krypel, Director of Marketing at Wold’s Minnesota office
: To support the women on our team and equip them with the tools they need to succeed at work and at home, we offer a hybrid work schedule allowing flexibility for personal needs, childcare and mental health. Further, Wold’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee develops programs and events to educate our teams and make a difference in the communities we serve, including elevating the voices and experiences of women in our industry. In addition, we conduct regular professional development meetings and leadership trainings.

At Wold, Women’s History Month gives us the chance to recognize, honor and celebrate the many important achievements of women. Showcasing women’s diverse experiences encourages others to pursue their goals, overcome obstacles and reach their dreams. We encourage our colleagues and friends to continue to reflect on the history of women in our industry and consider strategies to broaden opportunities for female leaders seeking to impact their communities through architecture, engineering and design.

As our company has grown, so has our diversity. As a result, our team has continued to positively impact the women in our communities through the design and construction of inclusive spaces and by partnering with nonprofits such as the Southern Valley Alliance to design their impactful spaces. The organization serves families in Minnesota by providing victims of domestic violence and their families with support, referrals, protection and advocacy. A more inclusive present sets a promising path for the future of our industry, recognizing that we still have strides to make toward greater equity. We’re proud to celebrate Women’s History Month alongside our community, honoring the invaluable contributions women have made to our present in hopes of a better tomorrow.

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