A Black woman in a green dress poses with her YWCA of Greater Harrisburg 2023 Women of Excellence List award.

Lawson Named to 2023 Women of Excellence List

Lawson Named to 2023 Women of Excellence List

Fifth Gannett Fleming Employee Makes List

March 30, 2023

The YWCA Greater Harrisburg named Masai Lawson, Gannett Fleming’s senior manager of talent acquisition and inclusion, to its 2023 Tribute to Women of Excellence list, which honors women who dedicate time and talent to making a difference in central Pennsylvania.

Through more than 20 years of progressive recruitment and relationship management experience, Lawson has broken barriers and created and seized professional opportunities while driving change and promoting equity. She credits her success to grit, resilience, and tenacity:

  • Grit to push through the challenging obstacles in business that many women still face.
  • Resilience to bounce back and continue tackling new problems without being weighed down by previous issues.
  • Tenacity to continue even when things are complicated.

“As women, we must be the masters of our destiny, not letting others determine our fate – own it but always be humble,” said Lawson.

At Gannett Fleming, Lawson serves as chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Steering Committee. Additionally, she and her team develop innovative recruiting and engagement strategies to attract top talent while promoting an employee-centric culture. Since coming to Gannett Fleming 13 years ago, Lawson has helped the firm grow by more than 50% by implementing an applicant tracking system, defining a recruiting process, and improving the candidate experience while building trust with hiring managers.

“Masai has taken the lead in developing the framework, promoting, and supporting Gannett Fleming’s strategy to become a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse organization while creating a culture of belonging,” said Bob Scaer, PE, CEO. “She has been instrumental in helping our firm recruit and retain the top talent that makes Gannett Fleming a respected leader in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.”

Masai’s unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) has resulted in national recognition for Gannett Fleming. She serves on the WTS Philadelphia chapter Executive Women’s Roundtable and is a member of the DEI&B Steering Committee for the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

She has also become a respected and sought-after speaker, presenter, and panelist on topics related to DEI&B and talent acquisition by regional and national professional organizations, including the:

  • Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
  • Harrisburg Regional Chamber/CREDC.
  • Construction Management Association of America.
  • Society for American Military Engineers.
  • Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists.
  • ACEC.
  • WTS.

Raised by a single mom who was a fearless advocate for the rights of women, children, and others from marginalized communities, Lawson witnessed firsthand the impact of a passionate, courageous woman on fostering DEI&B. She was the first Black and youngest female branch manager at an employment services company early in her career, and she became the fourth employee of a startup IT staffing firm before coming to Gannett Fleming. Lawson attributes her success to developing trusting client relationships, creative solutions, and “go-to” market strategies focused on delivering innovative talent acquisition programs.

Outside of work, Lawson serves on the Board of Directors of Feel Your Boobies, a non-profit targeting women under 40 with lifesaving calls to action for breast health. She is also a board member of WITF, a public media outlet, where she supports its mission of amplifying the voices of marginalized communities.

Learn more about Lawson in her Employee Spotlight.

About the YWCA Greater Harrisburg Tribute to Women of Excellence

The YWCA Greater Harrisburg has honored more than 750 women for their contributions to the region, both professionally and philanthropically, for 34 years. Last year, Heather Eickhoff, PHR, SHRM-CP, Gannett Fleming vice president and director of human resources, was named to the list.

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