Happy New Year! Mazzetti’s female workforce dropped slightly in the last quarter of 2019 due to a few departures. In this new year, we have goals to continuously improve our footprint of women in the industry, particularly at Mazzetti. For our New Year’s resolution, Women@Mazzetti is aiming to increase awareness of gender issues, to educate our Mazzetti-ites on how to be good allies to women, and to partner with other women-focused groups.
This year, we will also kick-off the Women@Mazzetti mentorship program. We will be highlighting some of the amazing women at Mazzetti in monthly updates. We hope you will find these female mentors as inspiring and strong as we do!
W@M January 2020 Spotlight: Karen Lange
Karen Lange is the Senior Team Administrator for Mazzetti’s Portland and Denver offices. She has been with Mazzetti for 22 years, transitioning from a versatile drafter/designer of all trades to an administrative position when Mazzetti acquired her previous firm in Baton Rouge.
Karen was one of few women at a predominately male engineering school and that pattern continued into the early years of her career. Today, Karen says, “things are different…[Women] can stand up and say our piece without being patted on the head.”
To cope with often being one of the only women, Karen learned to be tough and use friendships and connections to her advantage. In school, befriended some of the men in her classes, and they would stand up for her when she was teased for being the only woman. In her career, she formed a mentorship with a manager who supported her. He took the time to show her all aspects of the engineering business by bringing her to meetings and site visits and giving her perspective on how much she was contributing to the company.
Although Karen was accustomed to being one of the only women in her workplaces, she never felt discouraged from technical positions. Karen thought that she would miss engineering when she chose to become an admin with Mazzetti, but she is content with her position. She enjoys wither coworkers and the flexibility of working from home. Karen’s advice for young women entering the AEC industry is to do your best and learn as much as you can from everyone you can. She recommends finding a mentor that will take the time to show you everything you need to know. Karen believes that equal pay would be a huge step for bringing the industry closer to gender equality.
Thanks to Karen for agreeing to be our first interviewee!