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Monday, January 15, 2024

Jessica Bantom Joins DLR Group as Equity, Diversity, and Belonging Leader

Jessica Bantom

Nationwide — DLR Group announced the appointment of Jessica Bantom as the firm’s Global Leader for Equity, Diversity, and Belonging. She joins DLR Group as a principal and a member of the firm’s executive team. She will be based in Washington, D.C.

Bantom is a design thinker and a skilled management consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Marymount University and holds a master’s in interior design as well as multiple certifications in DEI, change management, design thinking, and facilitation. She pivoted her career in 2019 to drive understanding and change as a diversity, equity, and belonging practitioner, leading teams and organizations to design, implement, and scale effective equity, diversity, and belonging programs.

“Jessica’s mission is to collaborate with firm leaders to establish and promote equity initiatives that move us to a consistently equitable, diverse, and inclusive design culture,” said DLR Group CEO Steven McKay, AIA, RIBA. “She also will evaluate how we are engaging our clients and local communities to accelerate the firm’s ongoing equity work.”
Bantom is an experienced equity leader, helping organizations evolve their culture to understand, appreciate, and acknowledge identity and cultural differences. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Marymount University focused on the intersection of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging with design.

“When done thoughtfully, equity, diversity, and belonging work together in an organization not as an initiative but as strategic direction for the whole organization,” said Bantom. “Adopting these values is really representative of an organization making an intentional pivot to acknowledge that you value people who have historically been excluded.”

Bantom recently authored Design for Identity: How to Design Authentically for a Diverse World and is an in-demand speaker on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the built environment. Learn more about Jessica Bantom’s approach to equity.

DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse. It promises to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group is 100 percent employee-owned and fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge and is an initial signatory to the China Accord and the AIA 2030 Commitment. Learn more at DLRGroup.com