Francine Dunn is known for providing technical leadership while mentoring and empowering women to grow their careers in science and engineering.

As a vice president at GEI Consultants, Inc. Dunn has led successful business acquisitions and project executions across a variety of key markets. As part of her work, she prepares and manages environmental studies to satisfy California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements.

In 29 years of consulting, she has managed hundreds of compliance documents spanning various sectors. She has directed NEPA compliance for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Departments of the Army and Air Force, the California State Military Department; various military installations, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service. She has also managed planto-completion route siting and feasibility studies, environmental compliance, permitting, as well as construction mitigation and monitoring for more than 7,000 miles of telecommunications cable.

Dunn has an eye for identifying new and creative methods of attracting accomplished women to the consulting organization. During candidate interviews she makes it a point to show the organization’s commitment to hiring and growing dynamic women of all backgrounds. Dunn was co-creator of an affinity group focused on women in consulting that created an open forum for women and men to discuss perceptions and beliefs impacting career progression for women.

In the words of Francine Dunn:

How can the world increase diversity in STEM fields?
“Historically, women in STEM have been under-represented. Through mentoring and education, I believe we can encourage women to see the vast amount of opportunity in building and enhancing the communities all over the world. Furthermore, supporting women in being more visible is essential.”

What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“Beliefs and perceptions. Through familiarity, comfort, trust, and true partnership, we can narrow the gap. It is also critical to understand biases and how they affect not only women, but others as well.”

How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“More women are electing STEM careers and more organizations are realizing the direct correlation with diverse teams and success. Many companies have programs and or diversity goals and are cognizant of gender and diversity gaps.”

What can be done to move women forward in STEM?
“Increased awareness of educational, growth, and career advancement. Continue programs and identify mentorship opportunities to help them become successful. Teaching women how to recognize their value and breaking through limiting beliefs.”

Where do you see women in STEM in five years?
“I see more women being considered for senior positions as a result of more women entering the field.”

Words I live by:
“The woman who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one that never fell.”