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Culture & Careers

We cultivate a culture of innovation, collaboration, and sustainability, fueling our creative spirit and shaping the future of architecture and design.



We're all about creating an environment where talents shine, ideas flow, and careers can soar.

Our culture is centered around prioritizing the wellbeing and success of every individual, ensuring that people always come first in everything we do. This means not only supporting professional development and career advancement but also prioritizing mental health, work-life balance, and personal fulfillment. Our people-first approach is about fostering a sense of belonging and inclusivity, where every voice is heard, valued, and respected. We recognize that each person brings unique talents, experiences, and perspectives to the table, and we celebrate this diversity as a source of strength and innovation.

“At HLW, we're proud to be known for our positive culture, where collaboration, creativity, and personal growth intersect. Working at HLW is more than just a job – it's a fulfilling journey of growth and contribution.”

Cristen Colantoni


Global Town Halls

Our monthly global town halls gather the entire company to share a meal, stay informed and celebrate each other's successes.

Pecha Kuchas

These presentations offer a fast-paced blend of individual expression and team spirit providing everyone with the opportunity to showcase a project or dive deep into a topic.

Local All-Hands Meetings

Monthly All-Hands are an after-work tradition were local teams come together for activities, office announcements, and an opportunity to socialize.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Our goal is to be a force for positive change in the communities we serve.

Supporting this endeavor are our three pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): equity, environment, and philanthropy. To advance these pillars, HLW has established internal initiative groups comprised of staff members from diverse teams and varying levels of experience.


Our Equity Pillar initiatives drive diversity and inclusivity. We collaborate with Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises and earned the JUST Label. Additionally, we incorporate bias training in onboarding, craft equitable job descriptions, provide internships for diverse students, and run an intra-office mentorship program to foster talent internally.


Our Environment Pillar prioritizes sustainable design for climate resilience and wellness. We eliminate harmful chemicals from materials, engage in sustainability education, and strive to lower office emissions through a third-party rating system. Plus, we're committed to AIA 2030, aiming for a 90% cut in project carbon emissions by 2026.


Our Philanthropy Pillar demonstrates our strong dedication to leveraging our skills and resources for global impact. Annually, we unite behind a key cause, addressing critical needs like enhancing mental health access or promoting diversity in design education, ensuring our efforts make a significant difference.

Giving Back

Through various activities and fundraising efforts, we strive to make a meaningful impact.

Our dedication extends beyond financial contributions—we’ve invested our time and expertise in these charities, further solidifying our commitment to social responsibility.

  • Mental Health America of Los Angeles
  • Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation
  • Market Street Mission
  • Covenant House
  • ACE Mentor Program of America
  • Laurel House
  • LA Conservation Corps
  • All Stars Project
  • The Robert Randolph Foundation
  • Sands – Saving babies’ lives. Supporting bereaved families

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We are dedicated to ensuring fair and equitable treatment for all individuals, regardless of race, age, gender identity, physical ability, religion, or sexual orientation.

Our diverse workforce comprises 59% women and 41% men, with less than 1% identifying as non-binary or choosing not to disclose their gender. Additionally, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) make up 36% of our firm. HLW is a proud member of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), reflecting our commitment to diversity and inclusion within the architectural community. We also earned the International Living Future Institute’s JUST Label, which assesses and publicly discloses our ethics, including employee benefits, purchasing and supply chain impacts, and financial investments.

We are proud of our diversity and celebrate our differences. We offer a supportive and inclusive environment where our team members can work hard, play hard and thrive.

JUST Label

WELL Certified

Our firm is dedicated to supporting the health and safety of our staff, visitors, and stakeholders.

We’re proud that our New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, and London offices have earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating, renewed for 2024.

Our Guiding Principles

Lead With Why

Understand the big picture and drive towards it.

Be Agile

Stay lean. Be flexible. Move quickly. Couple structure with variety. Encourage change.

Stay Grounded

Balance confidence with humility. Be direct, honest, and involved.

Open Your Mind

Be curious. Be adventurous. Investigate. Guide self-discovery in yourself and within others.

Make It Clear

Demystify complexity. Avoid jargon when speaking with colleagues and clients.

Understand the Impact

Think about today and tomorrow. Make informed decisions to support the longevity of our work, relationships, and environment. Be kind.

Fueling Growth

At HLW, we believe that fostering genuinely dynamic careers encompasses a multitude of manifestations and experiences.

We’re dedicated to fueling growth and development by providing enriching experiences and opportunities. Our core values empower you to take ownership of your career journey, encouraging you to embrace challenges and strive for personal and professional growth.

A professional mentor and mentee sitting on an orange couch, engaging in a productive discussion over a laptop. The mentee, a young woman with short hair, smiles as she looks at the screen, while the mentor, a man in a white shirt, points at something of interest on the laptop. The backdrop suggests a bright, open-plan office environment.

Licensure & Certification

Recognizing the value of professional growth, we are committed to supporting our team members as they pursue essential licensure and certifications critical to their roles. This includes:

Team Study Groups:
Employee-led groups provide study materials and a collaborative environment for those preparing for various licensure exams.

Continuous Skill Development:
Through initiatives like HLW University, we offer a variety of ongoing educational opportunities to ensure that our teams have access to multi-disciplinary learning and can also enhance their expertise.

Exam Fee Reimbursement:
We reimburse examination fees and offer additional support for sustainability accreditation.


Our mentorship program is at the heart of our growth and development philosophy.

We pair team members together, fostering relationships where they can share knowledge, offer guidance, and support each other’s personal and professional aspirations. This initiative ensures that every member of our team feels valued, supported, and positioned for success.


Transform your architectural studies into practical mastery with HLW’s Internship Program.

This opportunity allows college and graduate students to immerse themselves in the field, refine technical skills, and build enduring industry connections, setting the foundation for a dynamic career.

Apply to Our Program
“The highlight of my internship at HLW has been seeing a side of architecture that I’ve always been curious about—software development, UI/UX design, and BIM—but haven’t gotten the chance to fully explore. With the help of the team, I’ve learned so much in just a couple months, especially because everyone trusts me to learn well and contribute.”

Sabrina Madera

Design Technology intern, Summer 2023

“HLW offered an amazing internship experience. I worked on a variety of projects, from large-scale endeavors to small finishes. The highlight of my internship was working with so many great and diverse individuals, as well as visiting project sites. I have learned and developed professional skills that will give me a head start in my schooling and future internship opportunities.”

Dante Luri

Architecture intern, Summer 2023

Our Benefits

Our commitment to well-being extends through a comprehensive array of workplace benefits designed to support you at every stage of your career.

Health & wellness

  • Hybrid Work Policy
  • Two HLW Days for volunteering efforts, personal/cultural holidays, or mental health days.
  • Comprehensive healthcare plan ensures access to quality medical care and wellness programs.
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Meals provided two times per month.
  • Employee snacks and drinks to stay happy and healthy!

Time-off & leave benefits

  • We believe in the importance of taking time for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate. Our employees enjoy a variety of paid time off options, including vacation time and paid holidays annually.
  • We offer paid parental leave to support employees during important family milestones.
  • We value the desire to savor summer, which is why we embrace Summer Fridays during the warmer months. Our employees enjoy flexible work schedules, enabling them to take time off on selected Fridays.

Financial & Retirement

  • Employees can plan for their future with our retirement plan, which includes company matching contributions.
  • Employees can set aside a monthly contribution to pay for transit expenses and for parking expenses incurred for commuting between work and home.
  • We provide life and disability insurance to offer financial protection and peace of mind to our employees and their families.

Professional Growth

  • HLW fully supports our staff’s professional growth. We cover the costs of the ARE registration/exam fees and exam expenses for any professional license or certification relevant to their practice at HLW, plus additional sustainability accreditation.
  • We offer a mentorship program for team members to connect, learn, and grow alongside experienced colleagues, nurturing their personal and professional development.
  • Financial award for licensure is provided.
Learn More
“I wanted to work for HLW for a number of reasons, but I was sold on the people. There’s a youthful and fresh energy amongst HLW’ers. What I love the most about working here is the work-life balance. This is one of the best I’ve ever had in the design industry.”
Portrait of Chanel Dehond

Chanel Dehond

Senior Associate, Global Director of brandx

Want to join our team?