2023 Women's History Month: Q&A with the Women of Bergmeyer

In honor of Women's History Month and to commemorate the courage and achievements of the women who came before us, we’ve shined the spotlight on ourselves to share the thoughts and messages of our very own Bergies. These influential women inspire, pioneer, and break the bias of gender inequality in their everyday lives.

At Bergmeyer, we believe that equity, inclusion, and change start from within. That's why we're proud to have a female President for the first time in Bergmeyer’s history leading our team - comprised of over 60% majority women – toward a brighter and collaborative future for all.


What fulfills you?

I find fulfillment through empowering others to realize their full potential. My purpose, and where I find great satisfaction, is in supporting our team of Bergies and our clients to identify and pursue their goals, providing resources and guidance, and creating an inclusive environment that fosters personal and professional growth and development.

What strategies can work well to promote inclusion in the workplace?

Bergmeyer’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is clearly, transparently, and regularly communicated and weaves through our policies and practices to ensure that all of our employees are aware of our commitment and expectations. We further reinforce our community grounded in inclusivity and belonging by celebrating diversity in all its forms, creating a culture of open communication and dialogue, and providing multi-faceted opportunities for career growth through mentorship, coaching, and leadership development programs.

For women in leadership: Can you identify a gender-based challenge you had to overcome in your career that influenced your approach to leadership and mentoring future generations of women?

Early in my career, I heard, not infrequently, that as a woman I didn’t “look” like an architect and should temper my expectations for career growth. That blatant discrimination fueled my determination to fight for access to roles and opportunities that would allow me to drive the change I wanted to see in the industry. My passion for empowering, advocating for, and mentoring women in the design field was born out of a desire to create a more inclusive environment where women would have equal access and opportunities to thrive.

For women in leadership: What advice have you given to younger women professionals to help them overcome gender-based inequities and challenges based on your past experiences?

Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable so that you may lead with creative courage. View challenges as opportunities to put your hand up and say YES – you can’t create change if you’re not in the room.


What fulfills you?

Getting up every day and giving 100% to each version of myself that is still learning and growing while being able to acknowledge the remnant pockets of calm, light, and beauty among all the activity. Knowing that there is no limit to learning about my career, the things that fuel my creative energy, my output of energy into my social environments, and most of all, continuing to learn about myself fulfills me.

Have you ever felt the imposter syndrome, and if so, how did you navigate your way through it?

Absolutely. This is something that I’ve primarily experienced throughout times when my college or work experiences have felt challenging to the point where I question my contribution to those spaces and the validity of my presence there. The main way I’ve been able to overcome it time and time again has been by staying consistent with what I do and how I do it as long as it aligns with being intentional about the idea of “this is where I want to be” and “this is how I know I’m showing up for myself, the role or the people (whatever it may be)”. That is what helps me reframe my thoughts to ultimately say to myself “you belong here”.

How can women support other women better in their organizations?

By promoting kindness, encouragement, mentorship and creating opportunities for growth.


What fulfills you?

The same things fulfill me at work and at home: Being creative. Problem solving. Trying to find the calm, being in nature, nurturing my family and my team.

Have you ever felt the imposter syndrome, and if so, how did you navigate your way through it?

100%. Instead of worrying about what you think you are not, remember what you are. Look at the task and hand and get started.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

In life and at work, the only person you will be good at being is yourself. While you might look up to others and learn from them, your unique perspective, style, and mindset is what will shine through.

For women in leadership: What advice have you given to younger women professionals to help them overcome gender-based inequities and challenges based on your past experiences?

Educate yourself about the evolving workplace - Have conversations, listen to podcasts, and read. Two books with powerful lessons about women succeeding are “How Women Rise” by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith and “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. While both books are targeted at women in the workplace, there are good lessons for all kinds of employees looking for success as they navigate their careers.


What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would tell my 18-year-old self that her ideas are valuable and that she isn’t bothering anyone by sharing her thoughts or asking questions. With that said, I would also take advice from my 18-year-old self. She was way more awesome than she realized, and I am sure that she could teach this old lady a few things.

For women in leadership: What advice have you given to younger women professionals to help them overcome gender-based inequities and challenges based on your past experiences?

I try to encourage everyone I work with but especially young women to find their own voice in the conversation and to share their ideas even if they aren’t sure if anyone is listening. Learn how to advocate for yourself and form relationships with others who care about your career growth and who want to see you succeed. Most importantly, be that support for others, too.


What does women's empowerment mean to you?

To me, women’s empowerment is lifting the women around you. It’s seeing other women not as competition, but inspiration. Women’s empowerment is giving women the support they need and that they feel respected and confident in their lives.

Have you ever felt the imposter syndrome, and if so, how did you navigate your way through it?

I feel as though imposter syndrome is a very common thing for people to feel. I navigate my way through it with confidence and reminding myself what I am capable of.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

If I could tell my 18-year-old self one thing it would be to be confident in who you are as a person and don’t try and change for other people.


What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I would tell my 18-year-old self that making mistakes is inevitable. In the end, those moments will serve as great life lessons; Don't be afraid to try something new just because of the fear of failure.

How do you empower yourself and the women around you?

I empower myself & the women around me by positively centering women and continuing to speak up for women’s rights – I believe that women’s empowerment includes creating inclusive, safe spaces and advocating for equal access to opportunities so that all women can flourish.


What are the benefits of having women in leadership?

Providing a difference in perspective in any environment is essential and can create a more diverse and enriched workplace.

What goes through your mind when you think of women who joined the workforce before you?

When thinking of the women who set the tone for the workplace before me, I can’t help but appreciate how they have paved the way. Though there will always be obstacles, many have been taken down thanks to those before me.

Have you ever felt the imposter syndrome, and if so, how did you navigate your way through it?

Imposter syndrome is something that everyone feels at every level. The more times you do something the better you will get at it and the more you will learn. The best way to navigate it is confidently and decisively.


Do you have a personal female role model and/or leadership mentor?

My mother embodies both. I have witnessed the hard work, sacrifice & commitment she put in to build her formidable career in the United Nations. She can navigate any hurdle effortlessly.

How, if at all, does your identity as a woman affect the work that you do?

This is a more discreet phenomenon, one I’ve experienced the most when engaged in negotiations. You have to get comfortable with (strategically) commanding respect.

Have you ever felt the imposter syndrome, and if so, how did you navigate your way through it?

Definitely - up until I became a licensed Architect. I would not understate the importance of having qualifications to fall back on. Plus, it’s rewarding when you get to say, “based on my expert opinion…” because you put in the work.


Have you ever felt the imposter syndrome, and if so, how did you navigate your way through it?

Yes, and I’m still navigating through it! When I was younger, I thought I would reach a point in my career where I knew exactly what to do and how to handle every situation or task I was given. I had a wonderful mentor through the BSA Women in Design Mentorship Program who told me that as a Principal at an architecture firm she still regularly needs to complete new tasks that she has never done before. That stuck with me. I realized there likely would be no magical point where I would feel like I “made it” and that’s okay. With this in mind, I’m able to tackle new tasks and challenges with confidence. You’re never done learning and growing!

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