Be a Pillar: Honoring Unique Perspectives During Women's History Month
Happy International Women’s Day!
A galvanizer of ideas, a sustainability expert, a talent partner, a curious academic and a connector share their unique perspectives in this month’s Be a Pillar story in honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
Ashley Johnson, Project Manager
"I’m most proud of being remembered not for my gender or race, (although I’d like to think those things make me even more memorable!), but as a great builder and a great person who happens also be a black woman."
In a role where many of my counterparts may share the same interests and cultural norms, have a common background in education, and similar upbringings, it’s easy for me to challenge status quo and bring a diverse perspective to approaching challenges and engaging in this line of work. I’ve been known to be a galvanizer of ideas, cheerleader for company culture, and for bringing positivity and a level of excitement for our work that people tend to remember long after we complete projects together. This applies internally towards team members, trade partners, craft participation, and externally to clients who are thrilled with the idea of diverse perspectives.
I’m most proud of being remembered not for my gender or race, (although I’d like to think those things make me even more memorable!), but as a great builder and a great person who happens also be a black woman.
Celia Hoag, Sustainability
""I want to help create a more resilient and equitable earth for my son and future generations to enjoy, one that we can all be proud of!"
With 15 years’ experience in (and a whole lot of passion for) sustainable building design and construction, I bring a fresh perspective to DPR. Prior to joining the company three months ago, I worked as a sustainability consultant and subject matter expert in building science and high-performance design. I was a lead engineer on the team that provided sustainability consulting services for three of DPR’s net zero offices in San Diego, Phoenix and Newport Beach. I have also developed prototype models and greenhouse gas emission forecasting tools to assist and support many jurisdictions with their climate action plan development.
These are all accomplishments that I am extremely proud of in my career and have provided me with a unique perspective on the client journey and insight into challenges they may need to overcome to achieve their climate adaptation goals. I pursued a career in sustainability because I wanted to make a difference in the world, but since becoming a mom, I have a much more intentional purpose. I want to help create a more resilient and equitable earth for my son and future generations to enjoy, one that we can all be proud of!
Melissa King, Take Care of People
" I care a lot about the condition we all go home in—I ask myself, ‘What version of me is my family getting tonight? How can I help others feel good about their mental and emotional state on their way home today too?’"
I joke that if my DPR legacy is for being the person who suggests we take breaks in tough or long meetings, I’ll be satisfied. I believe everyone at DPR is a hard worker, and that we could all feel more productive and happier at the end of the day if we take more time to renew throughout the workday. So, the second I start to feel distracted in a meeting, I’ll suggest ‘Hey, let’s take a quick break and see if we come back with a fresh perspective?’ and everyone exhales a sigh of relief. It doesn’t mean we’re avoiding the tough stuff. It means we’re giving the decision or situation a better version of ourselves because we’re renewed. I care a lot about the condition we all go home in—I ask myself, ‘What version of me is my family getting tonight? How can I help others feel good about their mental and emotional state on their way home today too?’
I’m proud of my communication and other emotional intelligence skills, and I’m grateful that they’re always in demand! In my role as a talent partner, I often support and coach managers on team dynamics, giving and receiving feedback, meeting facilitation, etc. I try to pay a lot of attention to my interactions with individuals and teams because I feel like I’m always role modeling those skills. I’ve spent my whole career at DPR and have learned so much here—I’m a walking, talking billboard for the development opportunities available to everyone at DPR. I know the ‘soft skills’ don’t come easily to everyone, and my sweet spot is growing that skillset in our extremely technically competent people to build the best builders at DPR.
Paz Arroyo, Quality
"I believe that we all can learn from each other and that diverse teams can better innovate."I firmly believe that we all can learn from each other and that diverse teams can better innovate.
I am a very curious person, which has led me to studying and researching for years. I have an academic background. I received a PhD from UC Berkeley in 2014 and I focused on helping project teams make sustainable and collaborative decisions. I am proud of using my academic background to develop quality training at DPR and to help project teams collaborate with owners and design partners to make decisions. Over my career I have published more than 50 peer reviewed articles on lean, decision making, quality and inclusion in construction.
I bring a unique perspective as a former academic, lean consultant and as a Latino woman. I can bring people together and explain management concepts to different roles in different languages. I believe that we all can learn from each other and that diverse teams can better innovate.
Sharon Rheinhart, Supplier Diversity
"I am most proud of my unique ability to foster connectedness. Whether engaging with my DPR family, our clients, trade partners, project workforce or other external organizations, I believe all things are connected!"
As a member of DPR's supplier diversity team, I am most proud of my unique ability to foster connectedness. Whether engaging with my DPR family, our clients, trade partners, project workforce or other external organizations, I believe all things are connected! Because of this perspective, it is automatic for me to take a holistic approach in any situation. I feel we all impact and influence one another and I love telling the stories that come from that!
When considering the phrase “We’re stronger together,” I interpret that straight through the lens of connectedness—I wholeheartedly agree! Connectedness changes the world one link at a time!
DPR’s monthly Global Social Responsibility (GSR): Be a Pillar series spotlights diverse experiences and perspectives within the DPR family. As we commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women today, we’re also spending the month of March celebrating Women’s History Month, a time in which we highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
Posted on March 8, 2022
Last Updated August 23, 2022