Celebrating Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, we have highlighted some spectacular women and the impact they have made at DTJ. In their own words, learn what they have to say about what it means to them to be a woman in our industry.

Elizabeth Stagnaro – Planning

“Being a woman in planning means that I get the opportunity to make a real impact on the building environment. I get to create and mold these parcels of land into beautiful, safe, and healthy communities. It is more than just placing the houses and the streets; it is thinking about how each and every member of the community is going to experience the space. As a young woman living in today’s world, I have had to stay more vigilant of my surroundings, and I believe this mindset has translated into how I approach design solutions. Will they have safe areas to walk around? Will there be open space and parks for kids to play in? How do we attain density while still preserving privacy? These are the questions I get to ask myself every day. I have the opportunity to think about the larger picture of the community, while also the considering the finer details of how it will impact the individuals that call that space their home.

Like most industries, the planning world tends to be male dominated. But times are changing, and more and more women are realizing that they can have a true impact on how the world around them is being built. When I first started as a planning intern, I was one of two females on a seven-person team. Since then, I have watched as more women have joined the team and taken on different leadership positions. I am beyond proud to be part of such a strong team and look forward to seeing more and more females take on the role of planners.”

Holly Jeannelle – Operations

“Being a woman in operations and design means navigating an industry typically dominated by men. I have a unique opportunity to advocate for gender diversity and inclusion in this role and this industry. I also have the opportunity to provide designers with resources, processes, and systems to ensure the day-to-day functions of the firm run smoothly, which allows them to focus on what they do best—design! I love watching a conceptual design become a reality, knowing I played a small, but important role.”

Anastasia Grigoryeva – Landscape Architecture

“As a woman in the field of landscape architecture, I’ve found it empowering to bring unique perspectives and creative solutions to the table. Women, familiar with the intricacies of balancing career and family life, understand complexity in both personal and professional realms. This represents an opportunity to challenge stereotypes and pave the way for inclusivity and sustainability. It’s also about inspiring the next generation of female designers.

Landscape architecture, to me, is a beautiful fusion of art and science. It’s not just about designing spaces but also about shaping environments that blend aesthetics with functionality. I believe in infusing our work with joy and playfulness, creating spaces that invite moments of enjoyment and create lasting memories. These are places where people want to return to time and time again.”

Caroline Isenberg – Architecture

“There’s something special about a person who wants to pursue a career that specializes in both creativity and practicality. There’s this dichotomy where on one hand, it’s fulfilling to solve an equation or a puzzle, because there is only one right answer. But on the other, there’s also something fulfilling about art, where there’s not one true answer, and we can go on exploring an endless number of possibilities. While this idea is not specific to women, I do think that women bring a unique perspective and level of empathy to the table that pairs well with this balance of art and logic. Designing successful spaces takes empathy in addition to technical and creative skill, which I believe helps to make women great architects.”

Whitney Summers – Marketing

“Marketing in our industry is an artform. We take the incredible ideas, concepts, technical facts, and built work of our designers and blend it with our strategic thinking and creativity to make the project truly shine. We’re culture influencers and the executers of the brand and embody what it means to be a DTJer. We’re looked to for our own unique design skills and perspective to drive our company and client’s vision forward.

It’s no secret that our industry is male dominated. Gender equality, diversity, and inclusivity is a core value of mine, and I strive to use my words, my actions, and our culture to demonstrate to young girls and women alike that they too can be designers; marketers; architects; leaders. The female mentors I’ve had at DTJ have inspired and empowered me to challenge myself, to have a voice, to make a difference, and every day I strive to do the same for those who follow me in the industry that doesn’t always look like them.

Marketing is never stagnant—it’s ever evolving. And the same can be said for DTJ. Our team has been forged by impressive women over the years, and I’m proud that our representation has and will only continue to grow as we empower and elevate their voices.”