IWD 2021: Meeting the challenge to influence positive change

The accomplishments, leadership, and contributions of women to society, business, industry, government, the non-profit world — and so much more — are top of mind as we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day (IWD). Celebrations like these help us keep in mind the need to continue our collective work toward gender equity in the workplace and beyond. In line with this year’s IWD theme, #ChooseToChallenge, we’ve marked the occasion by asking some of our newest associates to describe one of their superpowers and how they challenge the status quo to influence positive change.

Ronda Carlson | Architect

What is your superpower?

Optimism. I truly believe that with a ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ attitude, you can accomplish anything.

How do you challenge the status quo to influence positive change?

By bringing everyone on a project team together to make decisions and ensuring each person has a voice in the process.

Ronda Carlson (left) with colleague Stephanie Donovan celebrate the opening of an inclusive playground project in Billings, Montana.

Amanda Herzberg | Communications Manager

What is your superpower?

Insight. I love getting to the heart of the matter through deep, intuitive understanding.

How do you challenge the status quo to influence positive change?

Ask a lot of questions. The writer in me knows there’s something powerful about exploring all the angles.

Amanda Herzberg living it up with her three adorable nieces.

Rebecca Muchow | Architect

What is your superpower?

Agility. I’m able to adapt to new situations and take on different roles as needed to get things done and done well.

How do you challenge the status quo to influence positive change?

In my daily life: courage, determination, and humor, and then instilling the value of these qualities in my children.

Rebecca Muchow (second from right) and team members at the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit in Minneapolis.

Ashleigh Powell | Sustainability Director

What is your superpower?

Connectedness. I’m constantly inspired by linkages between concepts, challenges, and solutions.

How do you challenge the status quo to influence positive change?

Believing, and acting on the belief, that designers can facilitate meaningful sustainable solutions that extend beyond individual buildings to society as a whole.

Ashleigh Powell and her inspiration for creating a better world, son Xander.

Stacey Speck | Regional Marketing Director

What is your superpower?

Listening. Taking the time to really hear others is one of the loudest forms of kindness.

How do you challenge the status quo to influence positive change?

I practice kindness — small things can mean a lot. Acts of kindness open you up to empathy and understanding.

Stacey Speck and husband Larry at the pyramids in Egypt.

Randi Thomas | Senior Interior Designer

What is your superpower?

Strategizing. I love envisioning how all the moving parts of a project come together, and then seeing it happen, IRL!

How do you challenge the status quo to influence positive change?

I strive for an inclusive team design process where we celebrate each person’s talents and strengths.

Randi Thomas with team member Tracy Baker visiting the Roman Forum.

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