WILD NYC: Lighting Education, Diversity, and STEM – VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE!

Thank you Glenn, Fran, Paula, Mike, and Vicki for sharing your expertise and life lessons with the WILD community. We look forward to continuing these conversations, expanding outreach, and helping build a new and diverse lighting industry that invites and celebrates all voices and backgrounds.

Whenever you’re in a situation where you feel like you can’t identify with somebody, for whatever reason, then it creates a block, it creates a lack of an opportunity to have honest and open conversations.

– Paula Martinez-Nobles (4:30)

What we [Stacks+Joules] look at in terms of access, is to look beyond the traditional on ramps and developing alternate onramps to these types of technical industries so that we can have, rather than a straight academic approach, we can develop more of that apprenticeship or work-based learning approach.

– Michael Conway (7:30)


  • Stacks+Joules | stacksandjoules.org
    A nonprofit project-based program for high-school students focusing on learning in computer programming and wireless network management.
  • Girls Inc. | girlsinc.org
    Focuses on the development of the whole girl through mentorship, evidence-based programming, and a pro-girl environment.
  • Publicolor | www.publicolor.org
    Stay-in-school youth development program for students in grades 7-12, engaging through a continuum of design-based programs that mentor for success in school, college, career, and life.
  • NEW (Nontraditional Employment for Women) | www.new-nyc.org
    Prepares, trains, and places women in careers in the skilled construction, utility, and maintenance trades, helping women achieve economic independence.

Students don’t see people like me, or other people that they can look up to, and feel comfortable enough to learn more about what lighting is or what STEM is… If there were more diversity and more inclusivity, then they [students] could look up and say “I can do it because she can do it, I can do it because she did it – she made it!”

– Francisca Peral (8:30)


  • Equity in Lighting (EIL) | www.equityinlighting.org
    Increasing the diversity within the lighting community of NYC so it may better reflect the diversity of our country through the tools of outreach, educational events, and industry policy.
  • IESNYC Illuminating Equity Task Force | brigid.hardiman@gmail.com
    Collaborates with Equity in Lighting (EIL) on section education, programming, membership, and scholarships to cultivate opportunity and allyship without regard to age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or ability status within our community.
  • Los Angeles Lighting Speakers Bureau | losangeles.ies.org/los-angeles-lighting-speakers-bureau/
    The IES Los Angeles Section, the IALD Southern California Chapter, and WILD Los Angeles join to create an exciting new program to introduce SoCal youth (middle school through college students) to the rewarding careers available in lighting and begin to diversify the voices in our industry.

There are more programs available in a lot of the schools now then there were years ago, but I think that if there are funded schools, such as private schools with funding from alumni, then they are going to have some of the better programs, so we need to make sure education is fair. It’s not only a political environment that we’re talking about, it really has to come from the parents as well as the industries, to say “we need more people in this field and we need to start training the children to start working that way”.

– Vicki Hobson (39:11)

Michael Conway, Founder & President | Stacks+Joules
Vicki A. Hobson, SPHR, SHRM – SCP, Director of Human Resources | Syska Hennessy Group
Paula Martinez-Nobles, IALD, LEED AP BD+C, Principal | Fisher Marantz Stone
Francisca Peral, Program Facilitator | Stacks+Joules
Glenn Shrum IALD, MIES, Asst Professor of Lighting Design and Interdisciplinary Practice | The New School: PARSONS School of Design

Moderator: Kim Daley, Senior Designer | Hartranft Lighting Design WILD New York City Committee Member

Student videos provided by: Emma, Jasmine, Jeidy, Kamilis, Mia, Natalia, Pamela, Robyn, Shahida, and Vivien

Student videos presented with background music: Ashes of a Fallen Year by Scott Buckley

One thing that’s a little different about lighting design…is that there is also such a clear artistic path to lighting, and there are many people that arrive on the need to have a good technical knowledge and to learn the technical skills because of their passion for the creative part of lighting. So [encouraging women and minorities] may be through the path of traditional STEM context, but it may also be through art schools. Because if you get someone who becomes really passionate about working with light, they will inevitably need to learn the technical aspects to do it.

– Glenn Schrum (51:42)

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