We think the warm, friendly culture in our studios—each with its own local vibe—is pretty special. We’re a highly collaborative group of people who enjoy working together and are generous about sharing our knowledge, research and innovations. We think of ourselves as a global network of designers made up of small teams of friends working together to solve complex problems.
During our design processes we engage people from many cultures, both from within our firm and the local community. These diverse backgrounds broaden our vision and feed our strengths.
Finally, we want our work to matter. Our goal is for the spaces and buildings we create to shape the cultures of our clients and the community.
“Using design to make a difference.” That’s the mission of HOK IMPACT, a group of volunteers from each HOK studio who lead our approach to social responsibility and empowering our communities.
One of HOK’s core values always has been that we care about the people and places our work touches. HOK IMPACT serves as a lens for addressing the social, environmental and economic impact of this work.
HOK IMPACT supports our people’s efforts to give back by providing pro bono professional services, organizing participation in community service events, and supporting groups that make a difference in the cities where we live and work.
Diversity Advisory Council
A commitment to opportunity has always been an HOK hallmark. Our differences give us a unique perspective that enriches our design solutions.
HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council, which is made up of volunteers from across our studios, reflects our rich diversity of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, experience, expertise and geography. The group’s mission is to promote an inclusive work environment and help create a culture in which all our people can thrive.
Our commitment to the Council’s mission begins with the direct participation of members of HOK’s executive committee. The Council also advises the firm’s board of directors. Co-chairs Shiva Mendez and Damon Sheppard provide the overall vision for the Council and support each HOK office’s local efforts to enhance diversity and inclusiveness.
The Council’s recent activities include:
—Facilitating staff discussions and events on work-life balance, leadership and equity.
—Establishing a task force to promote firm-wide mentoring.
—Conducting biennial employee career and opportunity surveys to solicit feedback and guide diversity initiatives.
—Engaging with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other schools with diverse populations.
—Authoring HOK stories that share our colleagues’ personal paths related to diversity and inclusion.
—Supporting and participating with organizations dedicated to expanding opportunities for diversity within the profession. These include the National Organization of Minority Architects and its Project Pipeline, ACE Mentoring, Equity by Design and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.
Ask Me Anything
“Why did you become an architect?”
“Did you have a mentor who impacted your career?”
“What’s on your bucket list?”
“How did you end up at HOK?”
“How will we change how we practice design over the next 10 years?”
Those are just a few of the questions our people have asked HOK’s leaders at our live Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions. Typically held over lunch or during a happy hour in our studios, these informal Q+As enable staff to learn more about HOK and their colleagues, as well as to get advice for advancing their careers and to offer their own feedback. AMAs provide a public forum where our leaders can be transparent in answering sometimes difficult questions, ultimately helping to rally our people around our efforts to design inspiring buildings and spaces and to continuously reimagine what HOK is and can be.