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Women in Deep Foundations

The Women in Deep Foundations (WiDF) Committee was established in 2014, comprising both Women and Men representing all industry stakeholders to support women working in any capacity in the foundation industry.  Since issues that affect women in the industry affect other minority or underrepresented participants, the committee welcomes and enjoys a diverse membership. The essential involvement of male committee members fosters understanding and awareness and sharing of experiences to effect real and broad industry change.  DFI memberships for students are free and students are welcomed and encouraged to participate in all DFI and WiDF programs.

Committee Chair

Lucky Nagarajan
Bauer Foundation Corp.
lucky.nagarajan@bauerfoundations.com

Lucky Nagarajan is a business strategy and growth manager at Bauer Foundations Corp. She has over 18 years of business development, engineering, construction and management experience in the United States, Canada, South America and India. In her current role, Nagarajan is working with management and collaborating with her peers in developing national market strategies, pursuing wide range of complex projects, building relationships with key industry targets, developing goals, mentoring younger staff and more. She strongly believes that it is very important for every engineer to give back to the community to help advance the industry and support fellow engineers. She is a member of the DFI Board of Trustees and chair of the Women in Deep Foundations (WiDF) Committee. She serves as co-chair of the DFI of India Support Committee and is actively involved in DFI of India Regional Chapter’s initiatives and launched WiDF India group. She is also co-founder of Metro NYC and Mexico WiDF Groups. Nagarajan is a recipient of a DFI 2020 President’s Award and host of DFI’s Broadcasting Common Ground Podcast. In addition, she serves on the ASCE board-level committee, Innovative Technologies & Tools in Geotechnical Engineering.

Mission

To enhance professional development opportunities for women in the deep foundations industry.

The WiDF program creates networking, mentoring, and professional development programs that support career readiness and growth and raises awareness of career opportunities in geotechnical engineering and deep foundations design and construction.

Women in Deep Foundations Events

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Initiatives

WiDF Professional Development Grant Program

WiDF Professional Development Grant Program provides opportunities to women involved in design and construction of deep foundations. The future of our industry depends upon diversity, which can be influenced by encouraging promising female professionals to remain in deep foundations careers. Professional development grants are awarded annually at the DFI Annual Conference in October.

Outreach – What is the Geotechnical Field?

This 5-minute video produced by the DFI Women in Deep Foundations (WiDF) Committee answers the question: “What is the geotechnical field?” The video features dynamic and engaging DFI members as they take you from the office to project sites and through the many roles available in the geotechnical field including designing, supplying specialty equipment, managing, constructing and more.

Converting Crisis into Opportunities Webinar Series

Launched by the Metro NYC WiDF group, this series of webinars includes guest presenters discussing thought-provoking issues related to moving past the COVID crisis to accepting opportunities it could provide for a better tomorrow.  Each webinar begins with a brief, uplifting arts feature including a musical or story contribution.

Conference Buddy Program

Pairs young professionals who are new to the industry with seasoned-conference attendees who are familiar, helpful, and supportive companions. Please email events@dfi.org to participate.

Regional WiDF Groups

  • Metro NYC WiDF Group – Metro NYC WiDF Group is part of the international DFI WIDF committee. Group held its inaugural get together on July 30, 2018, at the AECOM headquarters in lower Manhattan.  Please email lnagarajan@gikenamerica.com to get involved.
  • Pittsburgh WiDF Group – this group meets a few times a year for coffee breaks, golf lessons, and networking.  Please email techactivities@dfi.org to participate.

  • India WiDF Group – The group was launched at the DFI of India annual conference in 2018 and is comprised of DFI members in India.  The members communicate via a WhatsApp group, discussing technical and non-technical projects and planning activities such as webinars and panel discussions.

Lanyards

Beaded name tag lanyards worn by men and women as visible signs of support for the WiDF program.  The lanyards attract many questions – especially for male wearers – which provide opportunities to open a conversation about and show support for women in the industry.  Over 300 lanyards are in circulation now, and proceeds support the WiDF program.

Networking Receptions

Organized at DFI conferences and include a variety of structured networking activities that encourage meeting new people and learning about other opportunities in the industry.  Frequent regional networking receptions are also held.

Corporate Women’s Groups

Corporate programs available to women at several companies across the deep foundations industry. These companies are providing opportunities for professional growth and create a supportive environment for women in the industry.

Student Outreach Program

Encouraging students to explore STEM fields with an emphasis on what WiDF love: the geotechnical field!  Resume critiquing, mock interviews, and other programs in the works.

In progress

Workshops and Mentoring

Professional development skills workshops and a mentoring program aimed at establishing, maintaining, and growing women’s confidence in the industry, improving communication and negotiation skills, providing access to mentors, career path guidance and highlighting corporate women’s initiatives.

In progress

Acknowledgement Bias

Read the latest column presented in Deep Foundations magazine by the Women in Deep Foundations Committee.

Fundamentals

DFI 5-Year WiDF Anniversary Presentation.