Home    AECOM    Insight

Texas exec Wendy Lopez is proud of AECOMs LGBT+ inclusion

Texas exec Wendy Lopez is proud of AECOM's LGBT+ inclusion

 June 10, 2022

 Read time

AECOM Texas Executive Wendy Lopez spoke with Dallas Voice, the premier media source for LGBT+ Texasabout AECOM's culture of inclusivity. Wendy also explains why the company is named a Best to Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality in the U.S. by Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the U.S.'s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.

Meet civil engineer Wendy Lopez

Civil engineer, Wendy Lopez, is formerly the CEO of Wendy Lopez & Associates and of LopezGarcia Group. She founded her own company and grew it from a one-person minority/women-owned engineering consulting firm to a multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental services company in less than 20 years.

Under her leadership, the company worked on a number of high-profile projects, including AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Dallas Cowboys stadium, George Bush Library and Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Wendy sold her company in 2008 to URS Corp., and the URS Corp. was acquired by AECOM.

Wendy is executive sponsor for AECOM’s Pride Employee Resource Group, helping make sure the global company leads by example and draws local talent to build diverse teams and create inclusive environments. She has been recognized through the years with several awards, including the Regional Hispanic Contractors Luna Lifetime Achievement Award, the D CEO Dallas 500 Leaders award and ENR’s Legacy Award.

Transitioning from entrepreneur to executive

"I remember waking up on the day of the sale of LopezGarcia Group and feeling a little nostalgic, as I knew this would be the last day I would walk into the office as CEO. On the positive side, the risks associated with ownership are now off the table. Financially, selling the company was the right thing to do for all of my business partners. We all walked away with great return on our investments," says Wendy.

"The biggest changes in going from owner/entrepreneur in a privately-held firm to an officer in a publicly-traded company was the adjusting to my new level of authority in the new position and speed in which decisions could be made. In a small company like LopezGarcia Group, if you could get the right two or three people in a room, almost any major decision could be made. With a larger company, not so much. Another thing that changed, was my control over my schedule. As CEO, people scheduled around my availability, now I was constantly adjusting for others’ availability."

"As Texas executive, I am the face and voice of our business in Texas. I am responsible for setting the strategy for growth across all business lines in Texas," she adds.

Being herself in AECOM's open workplace culture 

"I sold my business to URS in 2008, and then AECOM bought URS in 2014. In the beginning with URS, we just didn’t talk much about being LGBTQ. I got the feeling no one wanted to know about it. But to be fair, no one talked much about their personal lives. So it was kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell”-ish," Wendy explains.

"Then when we were purchased by AECOM, everyone was really encouraged to adjust to AECOM’s culture which was much more open. AECOM’s philosophy is that we are all more creative and productive when we are allowed to be ourselves. I know more about my colleagues’ personal lives now than I ever did at URS. The culture at AECOM is very similar to the culture of LopezGarcia Group; we’re like a family that looks out for one another."

Maintaining an inclusive workplace culture through ERGs

"AECOM was open to the LGBTQ community from the start, encouraging both LGBTQ staff and allies to join forces. I recall that during the first June that I was with the company, our Great Place to Work committee was busy scheduling Ted Talks, guest speakers, happy hours, etc., in celebration of Pride month. We have now further evolved as a company to include the establishment of Employee Resource Groups. The Pride ERG, along with the BeBold (Black) and Women’s Leadership Alliance were the first ERGs rolled out a couple of years ago. I was asked to serve as the executive sponsor of AECOM’s Pride ERG, and I am completing my second year in that role," comments Wendy.

"AECOM has since added the Mosaic (Asian Pacific Islander), LatinX, Native/Indigenous, Veterans and Early Careers ERGs. It is important to note that the ERGs not only draw members of each community, but allies of each group are also encouraged to join. As executive sponsor of AECOM’s Pride Employee Resource Group, you work to “ensure the global firm is leading by example and drawing local talent to build diverse teams and create inclusive environments. Each ERG has an executive sponsor, president, vice president, treasurer and secretary structure. This year we also added committees to work on marketing, communication, events, fun, etc. My role as executive sponsor of the Pride ERG is to be a strategist, change agent, innovator, broker and agent for the ERG," she adds.

"We believe that we can grow and strengthen our business by reaching all members of society. For example, we recruit staff using the oSTEM organization (Out in STEM), and we have discussed hosting happy hours with our clients’ corresponding ERGs with the goal of strengthening our relationships with them. The ERG leadership has no shortage of great ideas, and I find myself mostly in the “broker” role, making connections to people and organizations inside and outside of AECOM."

Recognized as a Best Place to Work 

"This recognition of AECOM as a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign is hugely important to me, our ERG and AECOM leadership. It is like the “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval. On a personal note, my spouse, Connie, and I have been major donors to HRC for many years, so it is personally satisfying to see AECOM recognized in this way. One of the activities the Pride ERG is investigating ways to improve our health insurance coverage to include gay couple insemination, without gay couples first having to try to conceive 'naturally'," Wendy continues.

"AECOM promotes equity, diversity and inclusion and encourages our employees to be who they are and have the same rights as all citizens. Moving our HQ from Los Angeles to Dallas had more to do with the great business climate in Texas, and the availability of corporate staff in Texas. AECOM’s leadership believes when we are free to be ourselves, we thrive," she concludes.

Work at AECOM with Pride like Wendy

AECOM employees are planners, designers, engineers, consultants and construction managers who partner with clients to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges.

Drawing from diverse backgrounds, disciplines and perspectives, AECOM employees are passionate about delivering a better world.

Looking to join this leading company?

Search and apply for a rewarding career with AECOM.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


Join our women's careers community