[Update] Creating a Culture that Women Want to Join
In 2017, an article on the women at Microdesk titled “How to create a work culture that women want to join: One built tech firm’s formula” was featured in Built Worlds. We’d like to share an update on where those women are today.
The AECO industry has traditionally been a male-dominated space. In the past decade, however, women have flocked to architecture, engineering and design roles at all levels, including executive leadership teams. At Microdesk, we pride ourselves on an inclusive culture that supports women in both their professional aspirations and personal responsibilities. Here are just a few of the women that were featured in the 2017 Built Worlds article and where they are today.
Mallary White – Current Role: Project Manager | Past Role: Solution Specialist
My career at Microdesk has been exceptional. I have had opportunities that otherwise I wouldn’t have had. I feel as if I have skipped the line and learned a lifetime of career knowledge in the six short years I’ve been here. I have worked my way up to Project Manager of all West Coast Architecture Projects from Solution Specialist doing everything from Tech Support to Software Training.
As a woman I have often found it hard to navigate this industry, to be taken seriously and, ultimately, to earn respect for the work that I do. Microdesk is inclusive and collaborative which creates a level of transparency and opportunity you can’t get anywhere else. We work together as an organic team with an enviable ebb and flow across two continents.
The leadership has supported my many wild ideas and crazy initiatives to push our teams forward to be the best of the best. Being able to support and be supported at the same time is hard to find in any company let alone in the AECO industry. I know many moms in this industry that struggle to find the work/life balance, who miss putting their kids to bed at night to meet deadlines and I am lucky to have found a career, a job, a field that affords me the luxury of personal time.
Leigh Ann Couch – Continuing Her Career as an Owner Representative at CBRE
These past 7 ½ years have been nothing short of amazing. Becoming a part of the Microdesk family has been one of the most pivotal chapters in my life, one I will never forget, and one I will always be thankful for. The lessons, the experiences, the challenges, the work, and most of all the bonds and friendships made with this amazing group of people are all ones that have shaped my life in the most amazing way. To put it shortly, I grew up here.
Ask questions, then ask more questions and hard questions, challenge yourself, challenge each other, be creative, think outside the box, figure it out, hustle, then hustle harder, critique the process, make it better, have ownership in what you do, put your stamp on things here, try things, fail, learn, then try again, solve problems, help one another, ‘seek to understand,’ and practice self-reflection.
After progressing to Director of Consulting for the Mid-Atlantic Region at Microdesk, Leigh Ann has moved on to CBRE.
Sana Nassar – Current Role: Project Manager | Past Role: Strategic Implementation Manager
Microdesk offered me a place to focus on building my skill set while maintaining strong relationships with our customers and partners.
I enjoyed being a consultant immensely because I love solving puzzles and mysteries. Helping our clients identify their pain-points and developing a plan of action to tackle those problems was one of my favorite parts of being a technology consultant.
After three years in that role, I was promoted to Strategic Implementation Manager where I was the tech lead for several on-site engagements. This role allowed me to flex my project skills on different levels and complexities. Afterwards, I focused more on finding new opportunities and leading project teams as a Senior Consultant.
Today, I am one of the Senior Project Managers at Microdesk and am involved in several key projects in the Mid-Atlantic region. Project management is a very interesting career path in our current agile environment. We have seen rapid growth globally in the past decade specifically with technology as it is constantly changing and evolving.