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    Balfour Beatty Construction Diversity Leaders Share Knowledge at White House Forum on Excellence and Innovation through Diversity in the STEM Workforce

    June 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON – Balfour Beatty Construction diversity leaders recently joined senior leaders from academia, industry, professional societies and government at the White House Forum on Excellence and Innovation through Diversity in the STEM Workforce in Washington, D.C. Hosted by Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, the forum facilitated a discussion on how to change the conversation round inclusion of under-represented groups in STEM to focus on achieving greater excellence, productivity and innovation through diversity. 
    Representing Balfour Beatty Construction, Nancy Novak, national vice president of operations, and Layli Pietri, minority business development manager, were invited to discuss the role of senior leadership in addressing the complexities of enhancing diversity in the STEM workforce. As part of their participation, Novak and Pietri shared with participants their insights into best practices for communicating the value of diversity, and strategies for retaining and advancing high-achieving, diverse STEM workforces.
    “At Balfour Beatty, we recognize that diversity at all levels of the organization is essential to successfully differentiating from the competition and leading change in the industry,” Novak said. “As part of a comprehensive diversity strategy, we are passionate about encouraging increased participation among girls and women in the STEM workforce. It’s an honor to have been invited to share our perspectives and experience with senior leaders from across the country, and to simultaneously learn about the value their organizations are realizing through their own diversity initiatives.”

    Recently honored by the Women Construction Owners and Executives, USA (WCOE) with its
    Nancy Novak with Cady Coleman, NASA astronaut colonel 2015 Mobius Award, Novak is heavily involved in organizations that lead the way for technology advancement and advocating for women's leadership in the construction industry. Her passion for advancing women in business is expressed through organizations such as Women in Government Relations (WGR), Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOE), the World Trade Center Institute (WTCI), and the Sewall-Belmont House in Washington, D.C.

    “This was an amazing event! The ability to share best practices, research and ideas on how to retain and advance not only women, but also minority and disabled employees, with people from prestigious organizations around the country was so energizing,” said Pietri. “We not only got the opportunity to brainstorm new ideas, but also joined group discussions around this meaningful initiative. We leave this amazing event with a vast network that will help us continue driving excellence and innovation through diversity in the workforce.” 

    Check out the Fast Company story by Melissa Jun Rowley: How Nasa Broke the Gender Barrier in STEM