Women @ Mazzetti Spotlight on Seattle Female Engineering Leader
Angelica Chow, PE, LEED AP BD+C
Our Women@Mazzetti numbers maintained through April.
Like many of you, Mazzetti is helping healthcare facilities manage COVID-19 and beyond (domestically and now abroad). As we continue to work from home, we’re enjoying the free time usually spent commuting to enjoy the outdoors and creative at-home activities with family and roommates!
Last week, we were excited to have many Mazzetti-ites view a webinar hosted by WE Empower called, “COVID-19 and Gender Equality: What Can the Private Sector Do?”. Various sources are indicating that women are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 impacts, especially on employment and livelihood. Our committee was encouraged by the high webinar attendance, particularly by our senior leaders, to learn how we can (better) help women during this pandemic. Included in this conversation, was the topic of paid and unpaid care, work-life balance policies, etc. Now more than ever, clear and frequent communication with ALL employees is increasingly important, along with a heightened level of empathy. We can’t assume to understand the impact of this virus on our colleagues. Towards this, Mazzetti has increased the frequency of “Medi Mazzetti” – a 10-minute guided audio meditation. (Anyone is welcome to join us—see below.)
Our senior leadership has increased the frequency of internal communication via our Mazzetti intranet, “Mint”. We’ve also taken this time to create dedicated real estate on Mint for W@M resources, conversations, etc. At a time where face-to-face interactions are sparse, if any, our intent is to leverage this platform for sharing informative and inspirational resources, in addition to fostering fruitful discussions (at least until we can convene them in person one day!)
W@M April 2020 Spotlight: Leslie Jonsson
Leslie Jonsson is an Associate and Project Manager at Mazzetti with a passion for sustainable design. With over 22 years of mechanical design experience, Leslie is integral to the success of our Seattle office.
Leslie’s story is an inspiration for all women. As a mother of two young children and wife of a 110% supportive husband, Leslie began university studies with a focus on a mathematics (including Computer Science). However, during her first quarter, she engaged with many students who highly recommended Mechanical Engineering — broader pool of job opportunities. Leslie took their advice and never looked back!
When asked what advice she has for young women entering the industry, Leslie highly recommended becoming an active member of a professional organization that supports your area of interest. She has become a prominent leader in ASHRAE over the years since she started as a student member. She served as student Chapter President and continued her involvement as a professional, eventually getting involved with the Chapter Technology Transfer Committee (CTTC, formerly known as the Technology Energy and Government Activities Committee) at the request of one of her colleagues and mentors. Leslie became the first female chair of the CTTC standing committee, with a total of eight years involvement at the local, regional, and international level, managing the Distinguished Lecturer Programs for chapters all over the world.
In the fall of 2018, Leslie volunteered to start the “Women in ASHRAE” committee, now known as “Diversity in ASHRAE”. The goal of the committee is to be gender neutral, encourage participation, and facilitate discussions between women and men within the industry. The committee is working on collaborating with many similar organizations, including Building Women, AIA Women in Design, Society of Women Engineers, Women in Science and Engineering, and ASPE. They host multiple events and panels to raise funds for ASHRAE research and awareness on topics such as pay equity & benefits, career navigation, and retaining women in the industry (some of which are temporarily on hold due to COVID-19). Leslie has been delightfully surprised while leading this committee,
“We’ve seen an abundance of male participation, including those in leadership positions, showing interest — joining our conversations and attending events. Seeing this response is super exciting and encouraging for this committee’s work and respective impact in the ASHRAE world.”
Leslie’s best leadership training has been through her involvement with ASHRAE, learning useful tactics and skills – good listening, practicing inclusivity, providing opportunities for others to develop/foster growth and leadership, and networking with leaders of other organizations to build a “database” of ideas, opportunities, and relationships. She is motivated to continue her involvement in ASHRAE committees – great opportunities to shape the industry and work on iconic projects. We are immensely grateful to have Leslie at Mazzetti. Her passion, knowledge, and drive is an inspiration to all.