HDR Recognizes Denver Office Leader for International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is March 8, and its purpose is to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history. Also known as the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, the first International Women’s Day occurred in 1911.
HDR is celebrating its female employees all week long with a special website and social media campaign totally dedicated to women leaders in architecture. Not only have these women carved their own paths into the industry, but their ambition has led to prominent roles at not just an architecture firm, but a global design firm.
Kaia Nesbitt, PLA, ASLA, is an award-winning landscape architect in HDR’s Denver architecture studio. With over 20 years of industry experience, she leads a wide range of projects both locally and nationally. With a passion for healthy place-making, human-centered design and problem-solving, Kaia combines her unique experience in visioning, product design, design leadership, business development and landscape design to create solutions for land-based projects on a variety of scales.
We got to know Kaia a little better by asking her the following questions.
Q: What individuals or experiences inspired you to work in the architecture industry?
A: “The number one thing was that my parents exposed me to travel at a young age, and travel has continued to be an inspiration throughout my life. Cultures, cities, people and diverse ideas influence my passion for urban design, but also my passion for the uniqueness of different places. It inspires me to want to help enhance the uniqueness of places through intentional design.”
Q: What words of advice do you have for young women just starting out in their careers?
A: “When you’re first starting out, don’t worry about the title and the pay. Take the job where you will learn the most. Dig in fully—be a sponge and get a lot out of it. That will lead you to the next thing. Take advantage of opportunities even if they scare you. You’ll figure it out along the way.”
Q: How do you find a work/life balance?
A: “I have a quote on my bedside table that says, ‘The work/life balance is not a daily occurrence.’ There are weeks when I am fully overwhelmed by work. During other weeks, when work is more manageable, I can be present for family dinners and spend weekends with my family in the mountains with no digital access. So I take more of a monthly view of overall life balance.”
HDR employs almost 500 architecture, engineering, environmental and related professionals in Colorado, including those in the architecture studio in Denver.
For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world—and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.