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AECOMs Future Leaders are driving positive change

AECOM's Future Leaders are driving positive change

 May 23, 2022

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AECOM attracts, hires, and develops talented people of all backgrounds, and ensures inclusivity and fairness in its sourcing, interview and hiring processes.

AECOM Senior Lean Consultant, Lekha Giridharan, and Principal Landscape Architect, Robert Hewitt, are recognized in the Empower 100 Future Leaders Role Model List. Supported by Yahoo Finance, the global lists are developed by Diversity and inclusion membership organization INvolvePeople and champion trailblazers who drive positive change for people of color in business.

The lists highlight those in business who have continued to advocate for diversity. The 2022 EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders lists celebrates inspirational people of color who are not at the very top of their organizations, but are making a significant contribution to ethnic minority people at work.

"Having Robert and Lekha feature on this year's list is evidence of their commitment and drive to help AECOM be more equitable, diverse and inclusive," said Colin Wood, Chief Executive. "I'm proud of their achievements to date, and the work that the Ethnic Diversity Network continues to deliver. I'd like to congratulate them both, and thank them for all that they do for the people in our business."

Meet AECOM Senior Lean Consultant, Lekha Giridharan

AECOM Senior Lean Consultant Lekha Giridharan

Lekha is Vice-Chair of Ethnic Diversity Network (EDN), AECOM's first Employee Resource Group (ERG) in Europe and India launched in 2021. The Network aims to champion an equitable workplace where ethnically diverse employees and future employees have a safe space to learn and grow through access to career progression and personal development opportunities.

“People are the strength that make change happen. When we create an environment where people are free to be themselves, they thrive, and we build a better world together,” said Lekha. “It’s been an amazing journey so far, actioning and advocating for an equitable workplace in the infrastructure sector to help it become more representative of the countries and communities our business serves. This is just the start, and we have a long and exciting journey ahead of us.”

Lekha challenges and shapes the strategy and direction to ensure the firm effectively supports the network to build an inclusive culture where diverse talent can thrive. She helped structure EDN with four sub-committees: Careers; Community; Culture; Commerce - ensuring each have diverse teams focused on shaping activities that fulfil strategic objectives. EDN has seen successful impact Europe-wide with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion client collaboration and a range of educational, cultural, and religious events such as 2021 Black History Month, South Asian Heritage Month and Ramadan 2022, and partnerships with Professional Bodies like ICE, speaking at schools, universities and more.

Meet AECOM Principal Landscape Architect, Robert Hewitt

AECOM Robert Hewitt

Robert has worked across AECOM's Europe region to bring together ethnically diverse employees. He helped create AECOM's first Employee Resource Group (ERG) – the Ethnic Diversity Network. As Chair, Robert was instrumental in setting the vision and objectives while challenging the business' strategies and decisions. Membership has grown to over 400 members.

With the support of leadership, Robert developed a long-term framework, and short-term goals that drove tangible change. Since 2021, he has been creating opportunities and a safe space for ethnically diverse colleagues to discuss any concerns and delivering six cultural and religious awareness events across Europe.

As a result, Robert was able to challenge the business representation targets for ethnically diverse colleagues and the selection and delivery of AECOM's talent and leadership development programmes. He was also able to influence the Europe Real Estate strategy to ensure workplace inclusion.

Speaking about the Ethic Diversity Network, Robert says: "In under two years the group has grown to a network of over 400 members who are all passionate about championing ED&I. Every member of the Ethnic Diversity Network's committee has the same passion and drive as I do and I'd like to thank them for helping the network achieve its goals so far. We can't do this alone and it takes all of us to make a change. I couldn’t be prouder!"

Work with AECOM's inspirational trailblazers driving positive change

AECOM cultivates a work environment where everyone is empowered to bring their unique talents and backgrounds to some of the world’s most complex challenges.

Learn more about the AECOM's hiring process and search their latest career vacancies.


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