Beyond Borders: Supporting International Women’s Day

Empowering women is essential EVERY day. Giving them the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to succeed is critical for long-term achievements and evolution in any community – and it’s definitely what we do at Clayco. 

International Women’s Day offers a great moment to celebrate women and recommit ourselves to building meaningful change in everything we do. Women play a pivotal role in shaping and advancing cultures and economies. Cultivating a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination will elevate society to new heights by channeling unique traits into superpowers. 

This year’s IWD theme is to inspire inclusion, and our Clayco team promises to continue our efforts to facilitate a world where differences are valued and celebrated. Today should serve as a reminder of the progress made and the ongoing need to champion equality. 

We must work to foster environments where the talent and potential of ALL people are recognized and appreciated. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental values we hold to the highest priority daily, but celebrating special days of commemoration and the people who motivate us helps bring communities closer. 


These are some of Clayco’s standout architects and engineers whose contributions keep our company on track as a catalyst for positive change. Their hard work encourages others to pursue their passions and breaks down barriers for future generations.

Sarah Jacobson, Lorrie McKenney, Keiko DeClerk, Stephanie Lloyd and April Austin

Sarah Jacobson

As the President of Clayco’s architecture partner company, Lamar Johnson Collaborative, I always enjoy working with Sarah. She’s a great collaborator and leverages her knowledge and connections to solve some of our clients’ toughest problems. Sarah has a background in construction management and design and is a licensed project architect in multiple states. 

Lorrie McKenney

With 15 years of experience successfully executing engineering projects ranging from front-end packages to design-built and beyond, Clayco is thrilled to have Lorrie as our director of design and engineering integration. 

Keiko DeClerk

A Princeton University graduate and fellow St. Louisan, Keiko has a bright mind that I’m so glad to have on our team. Keiko is my fellow this year and her hard work ethic as a structural engineer—and as a finisher in the 2023 New York City Marathon (something I can hardly imagine accomplishing!)— is amazing!

Stephanie Lloyd

Stephanie does an excellent job of putting the word “super” in her title as superintendent at Clayco. We both love nature and exploring the outdoors, which undoubtedly enhances her ability to generate fresh ideas. 

April Austin 

Senior Project Engineer April Austin brings a tireless work ethic that elevates our team’s performance. Her dedication and attention to detail helps foster a collaborative environment and achieve collective success.


I had the pleasure of meeting each of these remarkable women when I served as the United States Commissioner General at the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. There is no substitution for collaborating with diverse minds!

Secretary Gina Raimondo

Secretary Raimondo has helped secure our nation’s prosperity and security, grow well-paying jobs, and propel us toward a sustainable future. Formerly the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and its first woman governor, she has shown up for the American people as an impactful leader throughout her career.

Indra Nooyi 

Former CEO of Pepsi and incredible author Indra Nooyi is one of the only women to run a Fortune 50 company and is among the most strategic thinkers of our time. Her memoir, “My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future,” was a powerful testament to how it is possible to succeed against all odds.

Dr. Yvonne Cagle

Dr. Cagle takes being “out of this world” to the next level. She is a NASA astronaut AND consulting professor for Stanford University’s department of cardiovascular medicine and department of electrical engineering (and that’s just the start of her list of achievements).

Huma Abedin

Starting as an intern in First Lady Hillary Clinton’s office in 1996, Huma has spent her entire career in public service and national politics. She is also a New York Times bestselling author of “BOTH/AND” and a wonderful mother.

Carolina Escobar

Carolina was my co-chair at the Latin America GRI Real Estate Conference 2023, where we had a great discussion surrounding a nearshoring case study. Her intelligence and collaborative disposition make for a strong combination!

Chef Pina

This young Italian chef embodies the vibrant culture of her homeland in every dish. Chef Pina served dishes at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai from the restaurant Cafe Milano Dubai. Trust me, her recipes taste even better than they look (and that doesn’t seem possible)!

Kersti Kaljulaid 

As the first elected female President of Estonia in 2016, Kersti Kaljulaid is the epitome of pioneering grit. She has an eclectic and refined background, from working as the CFO and CEO of the Iru Power Plant of state-owned energy company Eesti Energia to serving as a member of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Genome Center and much more.

H.H Sheika Mozah al Maktoum

Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan bin Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum is a prominent member of Emirati society and belongs to one of the significant UAE ruling families. As Dubai’s first Royal woman pilot, she is soaring past expectations and making it easier for future female generations to fly!

Chef Carla Hall

Carla’s goal as a chef is to help people “cook with love and ‘live with joy,” and she does an excellent job of fulfilling that mission. I can say from personal experience that her biscuits are some of the best around!


The groundbreaking designs and transformative contributions of these two inspirational leaders to the architectural landscape are the epitome of building Beyond These Walls. Their resilience in an industry historically dominated by men proves that diverse perspectives lead to more inclusive spaces.

Jeanne Gang 

Jeanne Gang is a renowned architect and the founding partner of Studio Gang. Although well-known worldwide, she is especially an icon for evolving the Chicago skyline with Aqua Tower. At the time of its completion, it was the tallest woman-designed building in the world, only to be surpassed by her next skyscraper, St. Regis, in 2020. I worked with Jeanne on a competition for the Obama Presidential Center and One Hundred. I appreciate her role in shaping a new wave of great local architecture.

Maya Lin

We create the deepest connections to the projects that intertwine with our personal lives, and American designer and sculptor Maya Lin has perfected this art. Much of her work revolves around human impact on the environment, and she draws inspiration from natural architecture found in landscapes. Maya has designed various impressive structures, from public and private buildings to memorials and more.

The innovation and creativity sparked by various perspectives and people is how we pave the way for a brighter future. On IWD and beyond, advocate not just for the women in your life but also for those whose stories still need to be heard.

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