Home >Articles >RESTalk EP 92: Women in HERS: Elizabeth Sanfelippo and Beth Ainsworth

RESTalk EP 92: Women in HERS: Elizabeth Sanfelippo and Beth Ainsworth

Mar 11, 2022


“I hope to continue to inspire our nation’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology engineering, and math so they, too, may reach for the stars.“ Ellen Ochoa (American engineer, former astronaut, and former director of the Johnson Space Center)

The percentage of women in the construction industry grew from 9.9 percent in 2018, to 10.9 percent in 2020 marking a recent steady increase in women’s employment. Women now take on more roles in the industry that range from work in the trades to project management.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked: “So what’s it like to be a woman working in the HERS® industry? What inspires women to take this career path?”

In today’s podcast, we hear from Elizabeth Sanfelippo of Brayn Consulting, and Beth Ainsworth of Performance Point about their career journeys leading to roles in the HERS® world.

They share their stories both coming from aspects of the fields of art and design. We learn of some of the challenges, large and small, as well as how they manage self-doubt and bias.

Elizabeth attended Middlebury College in Vermont where she received her BA with a major in studio art. While attending Samford University for a Masters in Environmental Management, she homed in on her passion for residential energy efficiency and home performance. She became a HERS® Rater in 2016 (not really knowing much about HERS) and now works as a senior engineering associate for Brayn Consulting where she focuses on the 45L tax credit for energy-efficient new construction homes. She was a 2019 RESNET ELC Fellow, and recently received the Jo-Ann Golden Humanitarian Award in 2021 from the National Association of Women in Construction Southeast Region.

Beth attended Appalachian State University, where she obtained a master’s degree in building science. After being immersed in the sustainable environment of Boone, NC for 10 years, she decided to follow her passion and pursue a career in green building design. She began working for Performance Point in 2010 and has been in the industry as a HERS® rater for almost 15 years. She specializes in the modeling and design of custom housing and assists in the plan review phase and design for multifamily projects with her NGBS Verifier certification. In recent years, she has become a Quality Assurance Designee.

We wrap up the conversation by sharing thoughts on how the concept of women in the trades needs to be made “normal” in society’s thinking.

You can also hear more perspectives on this topic by listening to RESTalk Episode 85: “The House that She built.”

You can get in touch with our guests here:

Elizabeth Sanfelippo: esanfelippo@brayn.com
Beth Ainsworth: Beth@theperformancepoint.com

Listen to the full episode here.