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Kavitha Mathew Discusses Equity and Diversity in the Architecture Industry on Design Voice Podcast

KPF’s Global Diversity Officer provides insight into her career and her goals for the firm’s efforts, focusing on maintaining momentum and instilling authentic practices related to equity and diversity.

In conversation with host Catherine Meng, Kavitha shares what drew her to the role as KPF’s Global Diversity Officer, and her previous experience as Founder of Equity Co:LAB and Special Projects Director of AIANY. She shares how her new role extends beyond internal matters, such as hiring efforts, explaining that “it involves everything from what’s in the office…to what kind of projects we are doing and how we are doing them. What does the community engagement look like? How do we measure social impact on a project? I don’t want to lose momentum on things that are already happening.”

Kavitha empathizes with the discouragement individuals may feel when they cannot see the results of their diversity and inclusion work immediately, especially in firms that may have longstanding legacies. In her position as Global Diversity Officer, she hopes to help uncover and eliminate roadblocks to continued progress.

When asked to share advice for companies just beginning their diversity and equity efforts, Kavitha offers, “I don’t think it matters where you are. There’s a hesitation to own up to where you are and feeling like you’re behind. One of the things that Equity Co:LAB was meant to do and what I’ve done throughout my career is bring people together and realize we are really not that far apart... Don’t worry so much about catching up, but focus on making [your efforts] authentic to your own practice.“

The goal of the Design Voice Podcast is to elevate and amplify the voices of women in the architecture, engineering, and construction professions. The podcast has featured KPF Principals Jill Lerner and Lauren Schmidt, listen to their episodes here and here, respectively.

Listen to Kavitha’s episode here.