Last evening, JH Greene was invited to speak on a panel of women professionals in architecture, engineering, and construction careers to share experiences to students of the Temple University College of Engineering. One glaring topic was the low women representation in these fields – however, the panel viewed this more as an ‘inspiration’ than a set-back.
While the number of women isn’t directly comparable to male counterparts in the industry, the panel’s discussion highlighted that diversity is something to be celebrated and embraced in order to bridge any gaps in the gender’s representation. Women with sights on building diversity should start from supporting policies and practices within their own organizations to begin habits that can stick for the larger community.
Much of the advice shared for the students I found valuable for anyone. In response to the question of things you wish you took more advantage of in college, one speaker mentioned a desire to embrace more focus on mental wellness and meditation at that time of their life. She mentioned her respect for writers such as Tony Robbins, Jen Sincero, Simon Sinek, and Rhonda Byrne that they came across after college. These thought leaders provided confidence in the panelist and helped her understand the power of visualizing success as a means to make dreams a reality. Harnessing that type of power early on could be an extremely impactful discovery.
With myself, I see a tremendous use of my right brain – which tends to be a bit more uncommon in construction. There are endless stereotypes of the left brain being overly methodical and right brain being too fantasy-oriented, however I think there’s some beauty in the conjunction of these very different thought tendencies. Although the whole concept is more of a theory than an actual use of one side of the brain more than the other, having minds that have different beliefs and drivers working toward the same goal can have some pretty well-rounded, compelling results.
A common piece of information from the group was to recognize your intrinsic strengths, whatever they may be, and let them guide you to your most fulfilling professional development.