Spotlight on SHAPE
The social unrest of 2020 has only reinforced our belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical components of business success.
When we created our strategic plan, Vision 2025, we identified diversity as one of Syska’s core values, noting that “great buildings are designed by people with different skills, ideas, and cultural backgrounds. Diversity = strength. We look to shape the present and future by being different.”
Since then, we’ve been working hand-in-hand with our SHAPE (Syska Hennessy Advocating for Professional Equality) committee to advance our efforts in promoting DEI within Syska and within the AEC industry. SHAPE supports these efforts by focusing on:
1) recruiting for diversity
2) diversity training, and
3) advocating for professional equality.
SHAPE was created less than three years ago, but it has already implemented several well-received initiatives: It developed a diversity and inclusion interview kit, compiled stats on gender and racial diversity within Syska to inform the planning of future programs, and launched a “champions program” with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). SWE is the world’s largest advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology. Each Syska office has an SWE champion, who attends the organization’s local and national events.
In October, SHAPE held its annual meeting, during which it updated its goals and brainstormed ideas for 2021. The committee hopes to build on the momentum inspired by a recent panel on DEI that included the participation of AEC colleagues from Miller Hull and Gensler.
We’re proud of what Syska and SHAPE have accomplished so far, but we also recognize that there is more progress to be made, both internally and externally. We look forward to our continued collaboration with SHAPE as we pursue our DEI objectives, and, in doing so, achieve the best outcomes for our clients, teams, and environments.