The second annual retreat of the BWAF Industry Leaders Roundtable convened at the Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund on October 12-13, attended by senior executives from eight of the largest architecture and engineering firms. These leaders have committed to advancing women in their firms and in the building industry; at the retreat they assimilated ideas and knowledge from expert presenters Sally Helgesen, author of The Female Vision, and Sarah Meyer-Davis, Managing Partner of Strategic Diversity Advisors, into a qualitative, strategic case and a quantitative business case for women’s advancement.
A key theme of the discussion was the desperate need for innovation in the built environment and the strong emerging evidence for the superior innovative capacity of heterogeneous teams. Among the outcomes of the two-day event: action plans for each firm and for the roundtable as a whole, and a strong statement of purpose and intent to lead the entire industry forward.
Three well-known speakers presented their latest research on these topics, followed by workshops led by facilitator Nancy Alexander. Pay Wu of Deloitte Services, LP, presented Mass Career Customization. Author Sally Helgesen’s topic was Innovation: Why the Female Vision is Key. Sara Meyer-Davis opened the second day’s workshops with In Business What is Achieved is Measured.
Special guest Anna Franz, Director of Planning and Project Management at the Office of Architect of the Capitol, spoke about High Performance and Sustainable Solutions for Historic Federal Buildings – Transformation and Innovation.
Franz also discussed the Capitol’s current architecture and engineering projects, as well as those coming up. Firms that attended the event included AECOM, Perkins+Will, HOK, Weidlinger Associates, Arup, Thornton Tomasetti, Sorg Architects, and Buro Happold, among others. For a full description of the Roundtable, click here.