Kristen Judish, PE, structural project engineer, and Galloway associate, brings exceptional dedication and commitment to her team and clients daily. But in addition to the professional knowledge skill that she applies to projects, she is also a key advocate for Galloway’s diversity initiatives. Since joining Galloway in 2014, she has helped form and led Galloway’s women’s group and served as a leader on the Galloway Diversity and Equity Initiative.
What do you love about being an engineer?
The challenge! No two projects are the same, and I learn something new from each one. It’s a fulfilling moment when I can look at my design and be proud of what I’ve done. It’s a cherry on top when I drive around town and can point to different projects I’ve had my hand in.
Why did you choose to join Galloway?
I came to Galloway because it offered me a chance to do what I enjoy: designing. I’ve stayed because Galloway and my team have continued to challenge and support me. I’ve been involved in many different project types, designed with varying construction materials, and learned a ton from the other disciplines at our company. With every project, I’m growing to be a better engineer.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a time to celebrate and be together as our true, authentic selves in a community where we feel safe. It is a time when we honor those who fought for our rights in years past and those who are still fighting. Pride is our continuous push for equality for all those in our community.
Where have we seen success in A/E LGBTQ+ initiatives?
I’d say that even having this conversation is a huge success in general for the A/E community. And then I’m just proud to be a part of this conversation and be able to bring awareness to how we want to be treated equally. I’m proud of what we have done at Galloway, and I’ve been very well supported since coming on. I’ve never felt that I’ve been held back or discriminated against in any way at Galloway because of who I am.
I’m blessed at this point because I’m comfortable with myself. I’m comfortable having these conversations. So if I can use my voice to help things along, I’m happy to do so.
What challenges do you see in the A/E industry related to LGBTQ+ issues?
I think it’s vital as a community and a company to recognize that everybody’s at a different place in this journey. We’ve seen some significant changes in the A/E industry and at Galloway. Still, we also need grace with everybody – grace with people trying to push things forward and grace for people attempting to understand and make those changes. I think that is the goal of diversity in general. It is understanding where people are coming from.
Are the right conversations happening?
We still have work to do in the A/E industry concerning anything diversity-related. Everybody’s evolving, and the conversations are evolving, and we need to stay at the forefront. I don’t want us to get to a point where because a topic is complicated, we don’t talk about it. When things get swept under the rug, that’s when people start to feel uncomfortable. I don’t want us to get to that point – I want us to talk about issues and move forward. I think the overall message of any company should be that all are welcome, no matter what.
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