Transgender engineer champions global gender equity through lectures, mentoring and media
Since coming out as a transgender woman in 2012, Black & Veatch’s Una Nowling has championed efforts to educate locally and globally about gender diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM). That commitment now is being recognized with one of Kansas City region’s premier awards for advocacy for women in STEMM.
Nowling, a leader in the global infrastructure solutions company’s power business, has been named the recipient of this year’s “Women in STEMM Champion Award” by the Central Exchange, a 41-year-old community for Kansas City-area women leaders. Known as a “STEMMy,” the honor recognizes a man or woman in a STEMM-related field or affiliation who has a vision for gender equality and advocates for women in STEMM, either by supporting them pursuing or furthering STEMM careers or by promoting women in his or her workplace or community.
The Central Exchange awards, now in their eighth year, recognize business and civic leaders, students, educators, entrepreneurs and advocates who collaborate on boosting gender diversity in the regional business ecosystem.
Beyond her work at Black & Veatch, Nowling is a researcher and historian who hosts an LGBTQIA+ -focused program on Kansas City Community Radio’s KFKI-FM. She frequently is a lecturer to city councils, businesses, universities and high schools, STEM societies, counseling centers and medical groups, along the way mentoring other transgender and intersex people in and beyond Kansas City, including in the United Kingdom, India and Thailand. She is also an adjunct professor who teaches engineering classes at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive the Champion Award, knowing all that it signifies in the effort to bring about greater gender equity – something I’m passionate about,” Nowling said. “Having walked the walk on both sides of the gender divide, I have a unique perspective to share, and I’m committed through my listen-first approach to helping provide pathways to solutions to greater equity rights for women and others in the LGBTQIA+ community. I also am very grateful for the overwhelmingly positive support I have been given and continue to receive at every level by Black & Veatch, my co-workers and my clients.”
“For more than four decades, the Central Exchange has worked to empower and connect women across generations, industries and perspectives while promoting equity for women,” said Ann Hackett, Central Exchange Bloch Leader. “Una has personified that in her thoughts and actions, helping build the bridges that can and will foster greater gender equity and meaningful change. It’s for that unwavering advocacy that Una truly deserves this year’s Champion Award.”
- Nowling will receive the “Champion Award” during the yearly STEMMy awards luncheon on Sept. 23 in Kansas City.
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2020 exceeded US$3.0 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
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