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AECOM actively embraces equity in the workplace and beyond

AECOM actively embraces equity in the workplace and beyond

 March 03, 2023

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In celebration of International Women's Day (IWD), AECOM is sharing how the company encompasses the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity theme, not only in the workplace, but also through its further efforts.

AECOM Chief Human Resources Officer, Shirley Adams, and Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I) Programme Manager, Lisa Cronk, discuss how the company is embracing equity through their projects and are positively impacting the lives of women, as well as underserved communities around the world.

Reflecting the communities they serve

AECOM is marking International Women’s Day by recognizing the remarkable achievements of women in the industry and lending its voice to bring awareness to the challenges women continue to face around the world.

For AECOM, #EmbracingEquity means leveraging the playing field.

"Once we acknowledge that we don’t all start from the same place, we can create an equitable workplace through identifying the barriers that exist within our systems and processes, developing programs and policies that generate equal outcomes, and leading the change in our industry," comment Shirley and Lisa.

"The benefits that come from diverse and inclusive teams, both organizationally and culturally, are hard to ignore – when our teams reflect the communities they serve, our people are more engaged, innovation and collaboration flourishes and we deliver better solutions for our clients. However, the pace of change, particularly in increasing the number of women in our industry and STEM fields, is slower than we would like," explain Shirley and Lisa.

Improving gender diversity of the workforce

Across the company, AECOM has improved gender diversity of its workforce. Women comprise 19 per cent of its leaders, putting AECOM close to achieving its near-term target of 20 per cent.

"We are also making progress towards our goal of 35 per cent of our overall workforce being women—we’re currently at 33 per cent. Recognizing that diversity looks different everywhere in the world, we have also established KPIs and associated near- and long-term diversity targets in each region of our business," add Shirley and Lisa.

"We are ensuring leaders and managers are accountable for our inclusive culture because it takes all of us to be more mindful of inclusion and unconscious bias. We encourage hiring managers to take training on inclusive practices in sourcing and interviewing candidates, and in making hiring decisions." 

Actively supporting women throughout their career

What’s more, Shirley and Lisa highlight that true inclusion is not solely about hiring more women. AECOM acknowledges that women require effective support in their career through job opportunities, learning and mentorship programs, and family-friendly policies.

"Globally, we offer a suite of development programs, four technical and business-related career paths, and flexible work arrangements that support work-life balance for all our employees. Additionally, in the U.S., we’ve doubled our parental leave this year, and it applies to birthing and non-birthing parents, foster placement, or adoption," explain Shirley and Lisa.

Embracing equity in communities across the world

When AECOM employees thrive both personally and professionally, they deliver their best for their clients and produce better social outcomes in the communities the company serves.

"We establish partnerships with small and minority-owned businesses in our projects and make strategic community investments that benefit society and generate opportunity," add Shirley and Lisa. For example, AECOM's work on the Arthur Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx, New York, U.S. is improving community access to waterfront recreation areas, and the company's Safe Places Initiative is helping counter inequities and create more inclusive public spaces in Sydney, Australia and beyond. Projects like this clearly have impacts on women's safety and wellbeing.

"This year’s theme, #EmbraceEquity, is particularly meaningful to us as we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring workplace equity, diversity and inclusion. Happy International Women’s Day!," remark Shirley and Lisa.

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