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Community | Ellen Serves as Panelist and Mentor

Insla (Edited)


Teachers and students are back in their classrooms as fall brings the start of a new school year. The same can be said for Principal Ellen Dickson, as she heads out into the architecture community spreading her knowledge to other professionals through industry panels and mentorship opportunities.

On September 14th, Ellen joined the Women in Design panel discussion for the 2018 Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects annual meeting. This year’s meeting was a day-long event centered on “Protecting the Natural World”. The theme explored topics including preservation of land, funding and the support of public programs and facilities. Ellen was asked to join the panel by moderator Camille Shoaf of Hitchcock Design Group, a landscape architecture firm with whom BE has a long working relationship. Ellen joined another architect, a civil engineer, and a landscape architect on the panel, each woman sharing her experiences and history within the industry. Ellen’s role as Founder and Managing Principal of BE puts her in an excellent place to discuss overcoming female stereotypes in the workplace by being smarter, faster, and better.

While on the panel, one of the topics of conversation was the importance of mentors and how a mentor’s influence helps shape one’s career. Ellen spoke from experience on how her relationship with mentor Ken Nelson positively influenced her work. To pass on that beneficial experience, Ellen participates as a mentor in the AIA Bridge Mentorship program. This program pairs AIA Fellows with emerging professionals to help them develop their professional skills and expand their network. At their first event of the year, Ellen met with many young architects in quick meet-and-greet sessions, spending a few minutes with each of the attendees to discuss their goals. Ellen then was paired with an emerging professional to help the mentee develop career goals, professional relationship-building skills, and communication tactics over the coming months.

By participating in these events, Ellen is able to share her experiences as Principal, CEO, architect and woman in a male-dominated industry to hopefully make that journey easier for aspiring female professionals.