Why Diversity is VALUABLE
There should be a desire to have a workforce that thinks differently. It may be appealing to hire potential employees that think alike but having a diverse group within a firm should benefit the company in the long run. It would create a better environment for everyone there. Michelle Callahan, a Project Manager from Nitsch Engineering, said that because the people within her firm are so diverse, they bring many different thoughts to the table when working on projects, and come up with several solutions to potential problems.
Nick Brooks, a Project Manager at AEC development firm DREAM Collaborative used a Pen-Circle analogy to explain in greater detail. Looking at either end of a pen straight on, you would just see a circle, and would talk about how to work with the circle, when it is in fact a pen. Bringing in more people who think differently might be able to see the object from an alternate perspective. When you have a collective view from 360 degrees, you get a better understanding of what you're dealing with.
A more concrete example came from Dave Chakraborty: women's bathrooms. In general, a women's bathroom appears smaller than the men's bathroom because, while both rooms may have the same square footage, the stalls needed in a woman's bathroom take up much more space, leaving less room for more accommodations. Dave often remembered seeing huge lines outside the women's bathroom in airports, while the men's bathroom was usually uncrowded. The reason was, he said "because the codes that determine the number of fixtures in a bathroom was written by men." Bringing women on projects as designers and leaders would bring that sensitivity for the diverse public into designing new structures. "Because I'm a woman engineer," Project Manager Michelle Callahan of Nitsch Engineering said. "I'm better at certain things."