WICERS Honors IA President & CEO Dr. Klementich

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Invest Atlanta President and CEO Dr. Eloisa Klementich was honored on Friday, April 14 with the Level Award from WICERS (Women in Construction, Engineering, and Related Services). She received the honor at the last day of the WICERS conference held at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta Hotel.

Mayor Reed delivered the closing remarks, taking time to recognize Dr. Klementich for all her work on behalf of the City of Atlanta, and especially the effort she and the Invest Atlanta team put in to bring NCR to Midtown Atlanta.

“She delivered NCR, and the 5,000 jobs and $300M campus is going to have an economic impact of a billion dollars a year for the City of Atlanta,” he said.

Dr. Klementich thanked Mayor Reed and WICERS for the award before reminding the audience there is still much to do to support women in the workplace. She noted that while women make up 57 percent of Invest Atlanta’s senior leadership, it’s a different story when it comes to many S&P 500 companies, where women make up only 14.2% of the top five leadership positions. Out of these 500 companies, only 24 are led by female CEOs.

“What this tells me is that women are still bumping up against the glass ceiling,” she said. “The way we can ensure that the glass ceiling is permanently broken is address three areas to support the professional development and successes of women: access to capital, access to mentorship, and access to networks.”

She spoke of how Invest Atlanta and the City of Atlanta are working on initiatives dealing with these three key types of access.

Invest Atlanta and organizations like Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) are making it easier for women to secure capital. Invest Atlanta is doing so through its small business revolving loan funds, forty-one percent of which go to businesses owned by women.

Through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Imitative (WEI), an organization supported by Invest Atlanta, women entrepreneurs in Atlanta have access to mentorship opportunities as well as a wonderful working space in The Flatiron building in Downtown Atlanta.

For stronger networks, women can turn to professional organizations like WICERS for invaluable access to support, friendship, and professional contacts across industries.

“What WICERS is doing is socializing the direct involvement of women in areas where the economy is going to be thriving,” said Mayor Kasim Reed.

“I know you will succeed, thanks in large part to the energy and encouragement that WICERS provides and your own tenacity and grit,” Dr. Klementich told the WICERS audience. “As one of my favorite personal role models, Eleanor Roosevelt, would say, ‘A Women is like a tea bag, you never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.’”