Over the past couple of months, clients and friends have been reaching out to ask, “Is Nitsch Engineering still a women-owned business enterprise (WBE)? I heard a rumor….” We want to be clear: Nitsch is no longer certified as a WBE, which requires >51% female ownership as well as female leadership. While Nitsch remains employee-owned and woman-led, with Lisa Brothers, PE, ENV SP, LEED AP BD+C leading the company as President and CEO, women currently own 48% of the company.
We understand that this news may come as a surprise and want to formally share with you the details of what this means for Nitsch and you, as well as provide more details on our continued commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).
Who owns Nitsch now?
Nitsch has been implementing a formal ownership transition plan since 2001 to share equity of the company with our employees. We have always built our company to be a great firm that works on exciting and challenging projects that shape our communities. Sharing ownership with employees who help us grow and thrive, regardless of gender, has helped drive this growth.
As a result of this ownership transition plan, we currently have 30 employee shareholders (10 of whom are women) representing current and future company leadership (all but one are pictured above!). These shareholders reflect our employee base – which in turn reflects the fact that women and people of color remain underrepresented in the engineering field.
Is Nitsch still working to increase diversity in the engineering industry?
Nitsch remains a women-led firm, and we are proud to employ more women than the industry average: the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) reports that 15% of engineers are women, while 34% of Nitsch’s engineers are women.
We continue to support the goals of diverse spending programs, as we have seen firsthand how WBE, Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs can help open up opportunities for people who are underrepresented in an industry.
It’s a sad truth that women and people of color remain underrepresented in the engineering field – and Nitsch remains committed to doing what we can to increase their representation, with the long-term hope of reaching equitable participation in the engineering industry. Some of the key initiatives we either participate in or lead include:
- Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day: Since 2002, Nitsch has hosted an annual event that focuses on inspiring 6th to 12th grade girls to become engineers.
- UnitedWay BoSTEM Initiative: Since 2017, we have been working with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals by working with Boston Public Schools.
- Judith Nitsch Scholarship: In honor of our retired founder’s lifelong commitment to expanding opportunities in the engineering field, we are proud to partner with the ACEC/MA Education Corporation (a 501(c)3) to provide a scholarship for students who are traditionally underrepresented in the engineering and/or land surveying fields.
We also actively work toward promoting a diverse and equitable work environment and leadership structure at Nitsch. We received the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Small Business of the Year Award for Diversity and Inclusion. This award reflects the work we have been doing to drive EDI goals both within our company and in the industry at large. You can read more about our corporate initiatives here.
Have more questions?
Still have questions? Please feel free to reach out to President & CEO, Lisa A. Brothers, PE, ENV SP, LEED AP BD+C or Vice President & Director of Client Services, Gary Pease, PE, LEED AP!