A Month for Women

A Month For Women

In 1910, March 8th was declared International Women’s Day. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th as National Women’s History Week. Finally, in 1987, March was proclaimed as Women’s History Month, recognizing women’s stories, aspirations, and achievements.

Women’s contributions have always been notable, if not noted:

  • Emily Roebling took over and completed construction of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband, the original Chief Engineer, fell ill.
  • Edith Clarke was the first woman to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1919. She invented the Clarke calculator, a calculator that solves electrical engineering problems.
  • Beatrice Hicks was the first female engineer hired by Western Electric Company, where she helped develop sonar systems used in World War II. She also improved the design and efficiency of sound systems in large buildings and founded the Society of Women Engineers.
  • Alice H. Parker patented a gas-powered central heating system using a series of pipes and radiators to distribute heat, creating a more efficient way to heat homes and buildings.

These women and their successes are just the tip of the iceberg. We celebrate them and so many others during Women’s History Month.

This year, Altieri’s Women in Engineering Group took the occasion particularly seriously…holding events all month long. We shared our baby photos with a little piece of each of our stories (some of the men did a good job guessing who was who!). We showcased some of the many talented women architects we have worked with, highlighting their paths into the A/E/C industry and their impacts on our built environment. We asked our staff: What is the best piece of advice a woman in your life has given you? – and received some terrific responses, including:

  • Always stand up for yourself and never let anyone underestimate your abilities just because you are a woman.
  • You are enough as you are, always show up as you.
  • Embrace challenges, learn from failures, and stay committed to your goals.

To top it off, we supported a local, woman-owned business. Rebel Daughter Cookies in Norwalk, CT was founded by Anne Grossman. Despite having no culinary experience, she rebelled against what others told her and created a brand “centered around women empowerment and giving yourself permission to indulge and savor every bite.” We were inspired by her message and showed our support for her business by providing Rebel Daughter cookies to all our employees. And these were no small cookies! Everyone participated (after all, who doesn’t like a cookie?!) and helped our male colleagues focus on the impact women have in their personal and professional lives. Slowly, but surely, we are working to bring men into the conversation – maybe next year they’ll be the ones planning Women’s History Month!