Building Equity in the AEC Industry

When:  Apr 27, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM (CT)
Associated with  Chicago

Building Equity in the AEC Industry

A panel discussion hosted by CSI Chicago's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee.

Moderated by: Eric Wu
| Leadership and Talent Development space on the WELL Team

  • Shalena Broadnax | Director of Executive Search and Equity Initiatives
  • Larry Nordin | Associate Principal
  • Carlos Torres | Senior Project Manager

Building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is essential to fostering a sense of belonging, well-being, and ensuring each person’s voice is heard. Active listening, self-awareness, reflection, and thoughtful discussion contribute to fostering an inclusive culture.

This interactive panel discussion will explore the challenges and barriers faced by underrepresented and marginalized groups in the AEC industry including but not limited to: people of color, lower income groups, and women. Panelists will discuss the roles that opportunities for education, mentorship, and economics/scholarship play in contributing to the challenges for these groups. Participants will become more aware of the challenges members of underrepresented groups face in entering, remaining, and advancing in the AEC industry.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explore the challenges members of underrepresented groups face in entering, remaining, and advancing in the AEC industry.
  2. Identify barriers that underrepresented groups may face on receiving training or education in the AEC industry.
  3. Discuss the challenges that underrepresented groups face in finding role models or developing mentor relationships in the AEC industry.
  4. Investigate strategies to support equity in education, mentorship, and scholarship for underrepresented groups in the AEC industry.

Continuing Education:  1.0 AIA CES LU


Cost For Program Held Via Zoom:

  • CSI Chicago Members & Nonmembers: FREE

Please consider making a donation to the CSI Chicago Foundation when you register for this event.

Space is limited to the first 100 registered attendees. 

About Our Program Team:

Eric Wu headshotEric Wu works in the Leadership and Talent Development space on the WELL (Well-Being, Engagement, Learning, & Leadership) Team  at Northwestern University, where he focuses on building scalable talent management strategy and solutions and people analytics capabilities.  Eric is currently in the process of finishing up his graduate studies at Northwestern where he is getting his Masters of Science in Learning and Organizational Change and has completed a graduate certificate in Designing for Organizational Effectiveness. Prior to moving into the human capital space, he spent 12.5 years in beer working in corporate strategy, sales operations, and business transformation for MillerCoors.  At MillerCoors, he was a dedicated DEI advocate, including leading the Asian employee resource group for many years. Eric leverages human-centered design and design thinking to solve for organizational challenges and social impact initiatives. Outside of work, he is a passionate community advocate that is involved with the Chinese American Service League, co-chairing the Asian Giving Circle, and mentoring at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.


Shalena Broadnax headshotShalena Broadnax is a executive talent enthusiast with over a decade of experience in innovation, relationship management and aligning talent with organizational strategy. In April of 2021, she joined Sandler Search as the of Director of Executive Search and Equity Initiatives.  Her prior roles included Managing Director of Executive Director Recruitment for Teach For America and Chief of Staff at Echoing Green, a leading organization in solving the world's biggest problems through leadership accelerator experiences, most widely recognized for its flagship social entrepreneurship fellowship program.


Larry Nordin headshotLarry Nordin has been licensed as an architect in Illinois since 1991.  He is involved in all phases of projects as a technical architect and has worked on a wide variety of projects and construction types. He is an Associate Principal at the Lamar Johnson Collaborative where he continues to learn and convey knowledge.



Carlos Torres headshotCarlos Torres has worked in the Architecture industry since 2001. He began his career as a Draftsman for an Architect in Oklahoma City. He worked there for two years before starting at Rees Associates Inc. in OKC where he worked for a little over 10 years. He started in the print room and moved up as he gained knowledge. He returned to school after three years and worked full time while attending school. He has been in Project Management for eight years while taking exams on and off for the last four years.

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