Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable: Female Engineers and Developers

July 15, 2019

SLS recently sponsored Environmental Engineer major Samantha Gistren to attend the monthly Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable (SART) event sponsored by SLS partner, Southface.  The July theme was "Female Engineers and Developers."  Interested in attending a future SART?  Email us for more information.  Read below for Samantha's reflection on her experience.

On July 2nd I walked up to a modern, wide-windowed and green-roofed building to attend the Southface - Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable breakfast event for a discussion about Female Engineers and Developers. The roundtable was mostly about sustainable architecture and the importance of sustainability, and featured four influential speakers who could provide personal insight regarding their profession in sustainability, or architecture, and what it’s like being “the only woman in the room.” The panelists included Susan Hunter, a specialist and author of books about the historic Georgia architect Leila Ross Wilburn, one of the first female architects in Georgia, Denise Quarels, an executive at Siemens who keeps sustainability as a core value in her work, Katherine Moore, Vice President of Programs and Director of Sustainable Growth at the Georgia Conservancy, and, fAlissa Kingsley who is a Project Architect. Alissa is one of the women working on the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech.

At the event, I met an inspiring woman who is a masters student for City Planning at Georgia Tech and is aspiring to develop sustainable, affordable housing in Atlanta. It was great to see the connections formed between women and men across different fields in sustainability or architecture. Ultimately, a huge takeaway was that no matter what your profession is, we all have a responsibility and a place in a discussion about sustainability.

Southface Institute's commitment to women in the workspace, and sustainability is evident at these roundtable events. It’s a great opportunity for networking, and learning outside of the classroom. To top it all off, the event coordinators strive for a net-waste event. If you traveled to the event by public/sustainable transportation, or if you brought your own reusable mug for coffee, you were offered a raffle ticket to win prizes! Also, all materials (cups, plates, utensils, etc.) were compostable or recyclable!  Future SART topics include Diversity and Inclusion in Sustainability (August) and Regenerative Design (September).  Check the SLS Newsletter or the Southface website for more information.