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How you can benefit

  • Invitations to a number of intimate gatherings with fellow female executives from Houston's top companies.

  • VIP behind-the-scenes experiences with member companies.

  • Peer-to-peer networking opportunities.

  • Opportunity to attend an annual retreat for EWP members.

Learn more about joining EWP

Actively Involved

The Executive Women’s Partnership hosts events periodically throughout the year. In fall 2018, the group hosted a discussion with Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire on 2020 Women on Boards. This national initiative strives to increase the number of women on corporate boards by 2020. 
Executive Women's Partnership event.

Related News

Building Activity

Commercial Real Estate Impact - Office Space Trends and Implications Post-COVID-19

5/20/20
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on every aspect of our lives. As businesses across Houston begin the phased approach to reopening, it is important to note the implications the current environment will have on the region's commercial office space.   Jon Lee, Executive Vice President of Advisory & Transaction Services with CBRE, spoke on the pandemic’s impact on Houston’s commercial real estate market. Below are key takeaways from his presentation: Legal Implications Uncertainties When it comes to returning to the workplace, safety is everyone’s primary concern. From an employer's standpoint, the responsibility companies have to their employees and customers adds additional liability concerns.  It is important that plans are made now to prepare for reopening the workplace. Individual companies will determine their reopen timeline based on the comfort level with their plan and an assessment of risk tolerance. “This is going to be widely varied,” said Lee. “We are hearing companies starting to bring folks back [into the office] on June 1 and other companies no earlier than early 2021.”  Lease Restructuring When the pandemic first surfaced, the conversations with landlords and tenants were largely focused on whether there were stipulations in a lease that would protect the tenant during this situation. Unfortunately, there simply is not a lot within traditional office lease agreements that would protect tenants from a government-mandated stay at home order or the fallout from a pandemic.  “The provisions that one might naturally assume would help protect the tenant [casualties, interruption of services] really stem from the idea that the office is inaccessible, or something prevents the entity from occupying the space,” said Lee. This is something that he sees changing as a result of the current situation. Companies should discuss individual circumstances with their landlord and see if they would be willing to work with them on rent abatement, rent deferment or lease restructuring.  Future of Office Space Configuration The future of what an office space looks like will certainly change. Most notable, particularly in the near term, will be the need to adopt physical distancing guidelines, which includes defining both the required distance between individuals as well as adjusting maximum occupancy rates. This could happen in several ways including: Spacing—physically separating workstations Shifting—Alternating shift schedules for employees is the easiest way to accomplish physical distancing without the need for an extensive office redesign, which can often be capital intensive. Assigned Seating—the trend around unassigned “open” seating will cease, at least in the short term. Conference Rooms and Collaboration Areas—these will largely be closed or reconfigured.  Cost Implications or Redesigning Office—with the capital-intensive nature of fully redesigning an office, companies will embrace other means or appropriately social distancing in the office.   Mobility Moving Forward There is a huge variance in sentiment about employees permanently, or even partially, working from home. “I don’t think office space is going away,” Lee said. “There is a small percentage of job functions who could permanently work from home.” CBRE is encouraging their clients to consider what would be the optimal way for their specific company in that given industry to function.  Building System Changes Across the board, we will see significant systems changes happening at the building level, and not just inside the physical tenant space. This will include: Heightened interest in air filtration systems to decrease the risk of these airborne bacteria and viruses to affect tenants and their employees, including the use of new technology.   Increase in janitorial services, with common and personal areas being regularly cleaned.  Common areas and casual seating will likely be temporarily removed. The most disruptive shift will be in increased elevator protocols. In most cases, the average capacity will be 3-4 people. Many companies will also implement and elevator queue system. There will also be a shift to touchless entry, as well as limiting the exit and re-entry to reduce burden on these protocols.  Role of Technology The use of technology in an office setting has increased due to the current situation, and we will continue to see this trend increase in the future. While these technologies are effective, a growing concern with executives is the important role physical interaction can have when it comes to attracting/retaining talent and building a corporate culture.  Trends in Work Activity Performance With a vast majority of individuals across the country working remotely, there has been an increased interest from employers to measure employee sentiment. “There is no surprise that coaching, mentoring, managing and collaborating with others is easier in person,” said Lee. But on the flip side, creative thinking, as well as managing distractions and interruptions, is easier at home.  While the office market will not go away, employers will likely offer a range of additional options to their employees. A trend discussed recently in the national media involves employers embracing the idea of satellite offices in suburban locations. “This kind of suburban migration could be a trend we see moving forward,” said Lee.   Return to Work John and his team at CBRE see the re-entry to the office as a three-phase approach: Rethink: Planning and actions to consider now in preparation for return to work.  Reopen: Getting back in this “pre-vaccine” reopen phase will be the most disruptive. Significant steps will need to be taken by companies to create a safe and productive environment for their employees.  Reoccupy: There will be great lessons learned from the previous phase.  A safe return to the office for most companies will largely center around effective space and occupancy planning. This includes determining new occupancy plans and layouts, addressing social distancing with furniture and path-of-travel policies, planning for the moving and storage of furniture, and effectively communicating new sanitation, food and beverage and cleanliness policies.        Lastly, it will be important to do a thorough assessment of environmental systems including air quality, plumbing and electrical. While this will largely be led at the building level, individual tenants will need to be involved in determining that those systems are in line with what they expect.    Click here for additional COVID-19 resources for small businesses. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information. And sign up for email alerts from the Partnership as the situation develops.   
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Construction

Report: Middle Skills Matter to Greater Houston

4/29/20
A new labor market report underscores the long-term and critical role of middle-skill occupations in positioning the Houston region to be competitive in the 21st century and creating economic opportunity for its residents. The report, titled “Middle Skills Matter to Greater Houston,” offers an analysis of Greater Houston’s labor market using historical trends and models to project* long-term employment trends at a time when the regional and national economies were growing and near or at full employment levels. Within the last month, the regional and national economies have shed a significant number of jobs as a result of COVID-19. The specific economic and employment impacts of COVID-19 are profoundly serious and still evolving. The full effects will not be known for several months, and only time will tell how quickly the Houston or national economies will recover. Even in this context, the long-term strategic nature of “Middle Skills Matter to Greater Houston” offers insights for the current and future strategies — over the next two to five years — of a variety of stakeholders who develop and support the educational curricula, skills instruction, and career guidance required to attract, train, place, and grow workers in crucial middle-skill occupations. Lessons also exist for those who communicate to broad audiences about the availability of and pathways to these careers. Key Findings in Brief:  Nearly 50 middle-skill occupations in Greater Houston should be considered “good jobs” because they are in high demand, need a high volume of workers, and pay livable wages that exceed the region’s overall median wage. Middle skills matter in Greater Houston, as evidenced by the region’s utilization of the core middle-skill workforce. The region’s last wave of rapid job growth included meaningful growth in middle-skill occupations, and this trend is expected to continue into the future*. Eight regional industry clusters have particularly strong concentrations of middle-skill employees. Keeping in mind the nearly 50 good jobs and eight industry clusters with strong concentrations of middle-skill occupations will help the region’s employers, educators, leaders of community-based organizations, executives at philanthropies, and government officials in developing strategies now for the recovery effort needed in the months ahead. UpSkill Houston engaged TEConomy Partners, LLC to conduct the research highlighted in this report and in additional reports to follow. TEConomy conducted this analysis in the summer of 2019. The full report can be downloaded here.    *The projections for demand are based on historical trends and models and, therefore, may have limitations. They can be influenced by several factors including current economic conditions and workers switching to new careers or retiring, thereby creating vacancies.
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TRG: Legal Implications & Returning to Work Best Practices

Reopening businesses and getting employees back to work during these challenging and unprecedented times will require employers to grapple with unique practical and legal challenges. In this business-critical…

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Leadership Team

Darcie Durham, Boeing
Chair
Pam Lovett, Comerica Bank
Vice Chair

Ready to become a EWP member that leads into the benefits below?

  • Invitations to a number of intimate gatherings with fellow female executives from Houston's top companies.
     
  • VIP behind-the-scenes experiences with member companies. 
     
  • Peer-to-peer networking opportunities. 
     
  • Opportunity to attend an annual retreat for EWP members. 
Casey Schrade
Director, Member Engagement and Programs
Events & Programs
E
cschrade@houston.org
P
713-844-3687
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