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INSIDE/OUT Newsletter

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the community to work locally (instead of driving long distances) and support local businesses. This is especially important for the City of Ridgefield because it has doubled in population in the last 10 years. BergerABAM’s Dark Fiber Optic Infrastructure Needs Assessment provided a clear statement that the Ridgefield area needs dark fiber infrastructure in order to attract and retain coveted cutting-edge employment in the educational, institutional, and public service sectors. Furthermore, the assessment revealed a high level of

stakeholder, business, and community support for the Port’s efforts to build a dark fiber network and initiate a bright future for the Discovery Corridor. These findings can help the Port move forward with confidence as it assesses its resources, the funding necessary to build the network, and the ultimate return on the Port’s investment. If the Port can rise to the funding challenge and build a fiber network, there will be significant economic benefits for the Ridgefield area.

Igniting and Inspiring Girls’ Excitement in Technology Careers On 26 October 2017, Sue Johnson, of BergerABAM, sat on a panel and spoke to girls attending Decatur High School in Federal Way, Washington, as part of the Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Evolution (IGNITE) initiative. Along with three other professional women from the University of Washington, Microsoft, and Amazon, Sue shared stories of overcoming adversity. How failing a math test, and her teacher giving her the opportunity to retake it, encouraged her to keep studying. “Don’t give up,” Sue encouraged. “Even when it gets hard, keep working through it and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take opportunities when you have the chance.” The panel answered questions, such as: What was your favorite and least favorite classes during your studies? In ninth grade, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? How much money do you make? Have you ever experienced sexism? What was your journey to get where you are today? The panel members answered honestly, open-heartedly, and thoughtfully. After the panel discussion, the students split into small groups for in-depth conversations with the panel members. During these discussions, Sue showed the girls a variety of BergerABAM projects, discussed her favorite parts of the projects she led, and shared the joys and challenges she has endured during her career. During the months of October and November, BergerABAM staff visited schools throughout the Federal Way School District to speak on panels. IGNITE’s mission is to create opportunities for girls to get involved in activities, which hopefully excites the girls for future careers in technology. The hope is to give girls a diverse perspective of what’s possible; introduce them to different paths, resources, and opportunities; and to encourage them by sharing real-life stories of success and challenges from people they can relate to.

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BergerABAM senior project manager, Sue Johnson, sharing her career stories and excitement for engineering with Decatur High School students.

Women continue to be underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) work forces. Some of the greatest inequalities persist in the engineering, computer, and mathematical sciences. According to STEM statistics, only 17.5 percent of civil, architectural, and sanitary engineers are women, and an estimated 1.4 million U.S. technology jobs will be available by 2020. With current graduation rates, the United States will only fill about 30 percent of those jobs. Decreasing the gender gap in the STEM field for women requires a culture shift. As a company in the engineering sector, we believe it is important to participate in the empowering of these girls. Gaps tend to happen during the K-12 education, so this is a prime time to help introduce more girls to opportunities and resources, and guide them on how to best apply their talents, especially in STEM. For more information on IGNITE, visit http://www.igniteworldwide.org/.

Inside/Out Newsletter | Winter 2018 | Issue 68  

BergerABAM is a consulting firm offering services in the areas of planning, civil and structural engineering, architecture, environmental se...

Inside/Out Newsletter | Winter 2018 | Issue 68  

BergerABAM is a consulting firm offering services in the areas of planning, civil and structural engineering, architecture, environmental se...