As we celebrate Women's History Month, we honor the remarkable contributions that women have made to our society and recognize their immense value in the field of MEP engineering. Although the field has historically been male-dominated, women have made significant strides in recent years and are making their mark in the industry.
At our MEP engineering firm, we recognize the unique perspectives, experiences, and talents that women bring to the table. Diversity and inclusivity are essential to our success, and we're proud to support and empower women in engineering.
In honor of Women's History Month, we'd like to take a moment to recognize some of the trailblazing women who have paved the way for female engineers today.
One such woman is Emily Roebling, best known for overseeing the Brooklyn Bridge's construction. After her husband, the chief engineer, was left bedridden due to decompression sickness, Emily became his assistant, eventually becoming the project's de facto chief engineer. She was responsible for the day-to-day management of the project, communicating with workers and engineers, and ensuring that the bridge was completed on time and within budget. Her contributions were essential to the project's success, and she is a testament that women have always had a place in engineering.
Another pioneering woman in engineering is Ellen Swallow Richards, who is widely considered to be the first female environmental engineer. Richards was passionate about sanitation, public health, and water quality, and she used her knowledge of chemistry to make significant contributions to these fields. She was also the first woman to earn a degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and she went on to become the first female faculty member at the institute.
These are just a few examples of the many women who have made significant contributions to the engineering field throughout history. Today, women continue to make strides in the field, breaking down barriers and making their mark in a historically male-dominated industry.
At HP Engineering, we're committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in our workplace and the industry. Empowering and supporting women in engineering can create a more innovative, dynamic, and thriving industry for all. We asked our CEO and president to share their thoughts on Women's History month and this is what they had to say:
Brandon Pinkerton, CEO: "As the CEO of HP Engineering, Inc., I recognize that allyship for women in the AEC industry is a moral and business imperative. By fostering a workplace culture that values diversity, inclusion, and allyship, we can unlock the full potential of our female colleagues and create a more innovative and dynamic organization. We must actively listen, learn, and advocate for the needs and perspectives of women and work together to break down any barriers that prevent them from achieving their full potential. Together, we can create a more equitable and successful industry that benefits everyone."
David Adams, President: "As we celebrate Women's History Month, we must recognize and honor the incredible contributions that women have made to the AEC industry. From pioneering engineers and designers to trailblazing project managers, women have played a vital role in shaping the built environment that surrounds us. Despite facing many challenges and barriers, women have persevered and excelled in this industry, and their resilience and determination continue to inspire us all. As a company, we are committed to supporting our female colleagues' professional growth and development. We know that by fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace, we can unleash the full potential of our people and achieve greater success for our clients and communities."
We also asked our staff to share what inspires them and what it is like to work in the AEC industry. Here are some thoughts from our trailblazing and talented staff:
Heather France, Business Development Manager, Federal Government: "I’m inspired by the young girls in my community (and in my life). I try to lead by example in my personal life and at work to show them that, as a woman, she can do anything she dreams of, create her own happiness, and lead others with kindness, compassion, and strength."
Tiffany Hellerstedt, Executive Assistant: "People inspire me and details matter. I’m thankful we have amazing women on staff and our women help other women be successful. I think it’s important in my role at HP Engineering to proactively pay attention to people and to the small details so our team can make big things happen! We truly do have an incredible organization that’s firing on all cylinders."
Danielle Thomson, Electrical Designer: "I am inspired by nature and technology and aim to bridge the gap between them through sustainable building practices. By embracing this budding industry in our region, HP has provided many opportunities for me to support the movement with my designs."
Sharla Victor, Project Coordinator: "Reality is always better than my thinking. My job at HP is working with a lot of people that are not at all my same personality type. We communicate differently. Before I ever let something bother me, I always ask about it, and it is never what I think. I love working with and learning about my workmates." Betsy Wells, Senior Plumbing Designer: "I’ve learned through two rounds of cancer to live every day as if it were your last. It has shown me to appreciate the little things and not to stress the big ones, to look at what really matters, and the rest will take care of itself. Living in the moment keeps me from getting overwhelmed and allows me to appreciate the people around me for what they bring to my life and what I bring to theirs."
Emily Waldenmeyer, Vice President: "The AEC industry benefits greatly from the presence of women, whose diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and expertise make a significant difference in shaping our built environment. By breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes, women create a more equitable, sustainable, and thriving industry for all."
We invite you to join us in recognizing the invaluable contributions that women have made to our society and in supporting women in engineering as we work together to shape the future of our industry.