Author Archive

Making Strides to Reduce our Environmental Footprint

DLZ realizes that serious efforts must be made to mitigate the effects of climate change and the reduction of our environmental footprint, which is why we have made sustainability part of our way of life in our offices and through our projects.

Office Sustainability Efforts

 

Through our projects we have contributed to:

  • The reduction of energy, water, and greenhouse gases through our Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designed buildings
  • The reduction of harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides through our Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations. In addition to the environmental benefits of CNG, it also displaces petroleum fuels, saving taxpayer dollars and reducing dependency on foreign produced oil
  • The reduction of raw sewage overflows into the environment during rain events through our Combined Sewer Overflow projects
  • The increase of alternative methods of transportation through our bike path projects
  • The restoration of ecosystems and improvements to communities through river restoration and dam removals
  • The reduction of non-renewable resources through hydroelectric power on our dam projects

We will continue making strides towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices as well as through our projects. Together we can make a difference!

Women in STEM Leadership Roles: A High Priority at DLZ

March is Women’s History Month and a time to applaud the many contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society all around the world. DLZ is fortunate to have some very talented women in our firm and we salute all women, especially those in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Here are a few women that we find inspirational:

 

It is no secret that the STEM fields have been predominantly male occupations, with historically low participation among women. According to the Economics and Statistics Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce), women hold only 24% of STEM jobs. Among STEM leaders the gender disparity is even greater. The Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (A/E/C) industry is historically (and even currently in some firms) known as an “old-boys club” workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2014, only 8.9% of people working in the construction industry are women.

DLZ is proud to a have a diverse leadership team, including six women leaders who serve as role models for the next generation of leaders. These women – Tanya Arsh, PE; Vicki Briggs, CPA; Laurie Johnson, PE; Cristine Klika, PE; Marcelyn Mathews, PE; and Vickie Wildeman, PE – serve as advocates to redress the disparity of women in both management and STEM fields in our society.

I reached out to these six ladies to learn about what led them to a career in STEM, who inspired them, what they feel is the key to their success, and if they had any advice for other women looking to follow in their footsteps. Here is summary of the responses that I received from each of these incredible women:

 

In addition to these six female STEM leaders, DLZ also has 13 women in other leadership roles, such as project managers, and directors of marketing. DLZ truly has shifted its once male-dominated leadership team and is changing the way that women are advancing internally. Our female leaders are mentors to other women in the firm, empowering them, and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.

March is Women’s History Month and we applaud women in STEM and we encourage you to not just empower other women, but to inform the youth of society that they can be just as successful as men in STEM roles.

Engaging New Hires

Business owners, supervisors, and managers all hope for and benefit from low turnover rates. Finding suitable and qualified replacements is not always easy. Once a new employee has been hired it can take months to be fully functional in their new role. This phase is the perfect time to not only assimilate new hires but to build a strong foundation for engaged employees through onboarding.

Onboarding is the process of orienting, assimilating, and engaging new employees. If done properly, onboarding has many benefits. Check out the infographic below for examples:

 

There is no one way to approach onboarding as organizations tend to create their own programs, however some methods that are commonly employed include:

 

Onboarding is the first opportunity to make a new employee feel like an important part of an organization. Providing opportunities for the new hire to make connections with those who have shared skills, roles, interests, and hobbies is key. Socialization leads to higher job satisfaction, better job performance, and organizational commitment. And let’s not forget that happy employees are more productive and less likely to jump ship.