DEI by design: At DMR Architects, diversity always is part of the plans

Hasbrouck Heights firm’s 45 employees represent five continents, 20 countries and can speak 14 languages

How’s this for building a diverse team that reflects the community it serves: DMR Architects has only 45 employees — but approximately half are either naturalized or first-generation Americans, they come from 20 different countries of origin from five continents and speak 14 languages.

And they work in Hudson County, perhaps the most diverse county in the country.

Around the world

The staff at DMR Architects in Hasbrouck Heights traces its heritage back to five continents and 20 different countries. A look:

Staff were born in the following countries:

  • U.S.;
  • Cuba;
  • Egypt;
  • Ethiopia;
  • India;
  • Iran;
  • Lebanon;
  • Macedonia;
  • Mexico;
  • Poland;
  • South Korea;
  • Syria.

Additionally, there are several DMR Architects team members who are first-generation Americans. Their parents are from:

  • Argentina;
  • Austria;
  • Czech Republic;
  • Colombia;
  • Ecuador;
  • Italy;
  • Peru;
  • Slovakia.

At DMR Architects, diversity truly is a way of business — and a major reason for the success of the Hasbrouck Heights-based firm.

So said co-founder and CEO Lloyd Rosenberg.

“The benefits of diversity and inclusivity are profound,” he said. “We see positive impacts in a broad spectrum of expected and unexpected parts of our business.

Rosenberg said DMR’s teams of varied voices are uniquely qualified to lead projects that are intended for vast populations, including health care, public education and parks, municipal redevelopment plans and buildings, and residential options that range from affordable rental housing to luxury condominiums.

The outcomes ensure that no one will walk in and think “this building is not for me,” he said.

“A variety of cultures creates a mixture of perspectives and that leads to greater creativity in our work — something we would expect,” Rosenberg said. “But, additionally, our clients come from a broad set of backgrounds, and when they respect that our organization has a value system that welcomes diversity, a comfort level ensues.”

Rosenberg, a native of Jersey City, said DMR’s organizational structure — which features integration of practice areas — also is an allegory for diversity.

This firm’s cultural diversity is mirrored in the varied skill sets and levels of the team — and its business thrives as a result, he said.

“In our environment, the blending of diverse professional foci is beneficial to serving our clients and to our employees’ career advancement,” he said. “It is perfectly natural that the backgrounds of our people would contribute to our culture of performance.”

Rosenberg feels the diversity of his team comes out in its plans and preparations.

“Architecture today should reflect inclusivity that goes beyond ADA compliance; it should have cultural compliance,” he said. “We want everyone to feel seen and heard and comfortable being themselves.”

Just as cross-practice interaction has led to outcomes that far surpassed what one mindset would achieve, cross-cultural collaborations garner far more creativity than if the firm were more homogenous, Rosenberg said.

“We’ve created the workplace composition that is necessary to get today’s projects done in a way that will continue to be relevant for generations,” he said.

About DMR

DMR Architects, founded in 1991, feels its success is built on the commitments of its teams, their dedication, the trust they nurture with their clients and the challenges they meet with passion and intelligence to make a profound impact on the communities they serve.

DMR’s leaders feel their commitment to foster an atmosphere of trust, creativity and excellence has built a reputation as a respected full-service architectural firm specializing in architecture, master planning, sustainable design, programming, interior design and construction administration.