What does it mean to be working in a professional environment where diversity and inclusion are a core value?
Recently, my mentor asked me, “What do you value most?” And I said, “Authenticity—because it inspires me to be my whole self at work.” Beyond excelling at work, knowing that WSP supports and accepts all employees has bolstered my confidence. As a member of both the National Inclusion & Diversity Council as well as the Developing Professional Network National Committee, I continue to remind myself to challenge the status quo. What can we do more to strengthen the diversity and inclusivity culture across the organization? From New York City to San Francisco, my goal is to empower emerging professionals to cultivate a sense of belonging.
What does pride at the WSP workplace mean to you and how does the organization put it to practice?
In response to what happened in 2016 at the Pulse nightclub, a design competition for a memorial had taken place, which really connected me with other passionate LGBTQ+ colleagues globally. Ultimately, our team did not submit a proposal, however this opened a dialogue about LGBTQ+ issues in the world, where we exchanged project research with social impact, and initiated thought-provoking ideas about how we can use our skills to build a future that we want to see.
In what ways has your group adapted during the pandemic? What are you hoping the events will accomplish?
Despite social distancing measures, we did not want this to stop us from coming together. In partnership with WSP’s Wellness Program and Inclusion & Diversity Council, I am looking forward to co-hosting a virtual “March Towards Pride” event at the end of June. To commemorate cancelled Pride marches around the country, employees will track their steps for one week, and we will close the event with a virtual Pride event featuring a WSP Music Show.
Is there anything you have learned during this pandemic that you would like to see continue?
Being connected to my team is important to me. Working-from-home meant that I am no longer interacting with my office colleagues in-person. Instead, I’ve put in the extra effort to connect with my team and colleagues virtually. As a result, not only do I feel more collaborative with the team, but I’ve strengthened connectivity with colleagues regionally and nationally — geographic barriers have disappeared.