Women’s Initiative and JUST

Aug 12, 2019

Intertwined programs achieving greater diversity and transparency for TLC Engineering Solutions, Inc.

Founded in 2016 with the mission of promoting career satisfaction and advancement for women at TLC Engineering Solutions, Inc., the firm’s Women’s Initiative rapidly evolved to being “by women, for everyone.”

Rania Sadrack, TLC principal, board member, and advisor to the group, summarized it as, “Formalizing our efforts brought a focus to diversity in our firm; not only gender diversity, but in all of the ways that each of us is unique.”

The Women’s Initiative kick-off event was held during Engineers Week 2016 and consisted of a panel of senior-level female clients from TLC teaming partners and owners sharing their experiences in how their careers evolved, specifically how other women had supported and assisted them in their careers. Topics included the elusive work/life balance, the importance of mentorship, communicating in male-dominated atmospheres, and being self-confident in the workplace. All TLC staff that participated, of both genders, gained insight from the panel. In 2016, TLC’s Women’s Initiative also assisted in efforts to help TLC achieve the firm’s JUST label.

Kristy Walson, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP O+M, BEMP, and Tara Bleakley, regional client development manager, now both principals in the firm, worked together in the Women’s Initiative program’s first year to shape the agenda. Events have included Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk on LEAN IN, with group discussion afterwards, as well as a breakfast during TLC’s annual GreenWeek with Sarah Boren, a leader in USGBC to discuss balancing her career in sustainability with family life. More recent events have included networking with major construction firms that also have women’s programs, including “Women Impacting Turner.” This panel discussion involved all staff, regardless of gender, and was broadcast across the firm and well received, generating follow-on discussion.

In 2018, TLC’s Women’s Initiative updated the group’s mission “To promote a diverse and balanced working environment for all employees at TLC.” The group, currently chaired by Vanessa Bermudez, CPSM, LEED AP, a new principal at TLC, and Georgia Stoppenbrink, Marketing Coordinator, have organized into committees focused on STEM/Mentorship, Programs, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility. Events have included showcasing relevant TED Talks during Engineers Week, engaging with a central Florida high school to encourage young women in the study of engineering, and sponsoring the American Heart Association Go Red for Women program. They are currently planning support for TLC’s GreenWeek, a firm-wide educational event for TLC staff, our clients and building owners. This year’s event is the week of September 16th. More information will be available on the firm’s website soon: tlc-engineers.com.

Rania Sadrack, director of healthcare strategy and a member of the TLC board of directors, has served as an advisor and resource to TLC’s Women’s Initiative continually. Rania can be reached at rania.sadrack@tlc-eng.com.

The Women’s Initiative was initially led by Kristy Walson, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP O+M, BEMP, a senior mechanical engineer and principal in the firm, as well as Tara Bleakley, principal/regional client development manager. Kristy and Tara can be reached at kristy.walson@tlc-eng.com and tara.bleakley@tlc-eng.com.

Current chairs of the Women’s Initiative are Vanessa Bermudez, CPSM, LEED AP, principal/business development manager and Georgia Stoppenbrink, marketing coordinator. Vanessa and Georgia can be reached at vanessa.bermudez@tlc-eng.com and georgia.stoppenbrink@tlc-eng.com.

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