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AECOM leaders embrace equity for IWD and beyond

AECOM leaders embrace equity for IWD and beyond

 March 05, 2023

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Embracing equity is vital to AECOM's purpose of delivering a better world

To empower those in AECOM's industry to thrive, the company focuses on four key areas to drive greater equity, diversity and inclusion within AECOM and beyond:

  • Building Diverse Talent
  • Expanding Understanding
  • Enriching Communities
  • Thinking Without Limits

AECOM is committed to driving positive change for women in the global workplace and beyond by creating an inclusive environment built on equity and diversity, providing all employees am opportunity to reach their full potential. 

Marking International Women's Day, AECOM leaders offer their statements to highlight why equity is important and what it means to them.

AECOM Chief Executive Officer, Troy Rudd

At AECOM, we Embrace Equity through the empowerment of women across all levels of our organization and the promotion of gender equality throughout our industry. Following through on our commitments, we have improved the diversity of our workforce with women now comprising more than 33% of our employees and 19% of our leaders, which puts us even closer to achieving our near-term targets of 35% and 20%, respectively. 

Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion is important because we believe diversity of thought is what ultimately contributes to stronger teams and better outcomes. We work hard to foster an inclusive and respectful culture where all our employees have equitable opportunities to thrive and where their voices are heard. By setting objectives and goals for our leaders, then continuously reviewing our processes, we ensure that women are actively engaged in shaping our culture and driving our business forward. 

Equally important, embracing equity is vital to our purpose of delivering a better world, which we bring to life by prioritizing social impact in the projects we pursue and the innovative solutions we deliver so that our work reflects the diversity of the clients and communities we serve.

We work hard to foster an inclusive and respectful culture where all our employees have equitable opportunities to thrive and where their voices are heard.

AECOM President, Lara Poloni

Whether on the project site, in the office or in the boardroom- and regardless of gender - we are each shaped by our own lived experiences, circumstances and, in many cases, opportunity. This International Women’s Day, I #EmbraceEquity and commit to ensuring our teams continue to reflect the diverse communities we serve. Through recognizing our many differences as strengths, ensuring everyone has a voice that is heard, and taking personal responsibility to contribute to a more inclusive and equitable world, we are all better placed to thrive.

Shirley Adams, Chief Human Resources Officer


For us, embracing equity means leveling 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. 

AECOM Global Business Line Chief Executive for Transportation (interim), Mark Southwell

The business rationale and social responsibility is clear: making equity part of our everyday operation and existence is not only the expectation, it is the necessary thing to do. As leaders, it is vital we demonstrate our equitable commitments and behaviours, as well as hold our teams accountable to do the same. 

AECOM President for Construction Management, Jay Badame


Empowering women, fostering opportunity that creates pathways to career growth, and helping expand our industry’s representation of women has always been—and remains—a core personal commitment. Embracing equity, and specifically the inclusion of women in construction and our workplace, is central to AECOM as a company, and a value I take pride in carrying through in my role as President of Construction Management. 

AECOM Regional Chief Executive for Australia & New Zealand, Richard Barrett


To embrace equity, we must first acknowledge that there are different starting points and access to opportunities. Ultimately, equity is about fairness, and I am proud that our Sustainable Legacies strategy is a great example of how we are delivering equity in our day-to-day work, socially and environmentally. It’s clear that as an organisation, industry and society, we still have more to do. On International Women’s Day and through the whole year, I am committed to constantly striving for gender equality both at AECOM and in our communities” 

AECOM Chief Strategy Officer, Todd Battley

Everyone deserves the same opportunities to succeed, but the reality is that not everyone receives them. I #EmbraceEquity and, through my actions, commit to shaping a world where potential, regardless of gender or circumstance, can be realized, and where opportunities to excel are available to all. 

AECOM Regional Chief Executive for U.S. West, Matt Crane

In celebration of International Women’s Day, I want to recognize our Women’s Leadership Alliance (WLA), an employee-run resource group that tirelessly advocates for and empowers women. This is no small feat within a historically male-dominated industry. Their commitment and tenacity are not only necessary, but has made a significant difference at AECOM and on the projects we deliver. Thank you WLA and to all the women - and men - who graciously volunteer to take on this important work on top of your job responsibilities, helping to create an equitable workplace. 

AECOM Global Business Line Chief Executive, Buildings + Places, Richard Whitehead

The need for action in the journey towards equality is a responsibility for us all - including for men who are important allies for change. It will be impossible to achieve true equality if only a portion of us are involved and engaged. International Women’s Day is a great reminder for us to continue taking steps within each of our teams to more fully integrate equity into everything that we do. 

AECOM Regional Chief Executive for Canada, Marc Devlin

IWD is a critical time to reflect on our progress towards removing biases in our workplace. While it gives us a chance to see how far we have come, it’s also a reminder to stay the course and ensure that our progress continues. I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by strong women in both my working life and personal life. It’s taught me firsthand just how much we all benefit from having an integrated and diverse workplace. More than ever, providing women with the opportunities to thrive is an imperative - for AECOM, our industry, and the world. 

Nash Doyle, Chief Safety Officer

I’m constantly inspired by the caliber of women leaders and colleagues I work with across AECOM. Through daily interactions with my team, and other parts of our global organization, I seek to ensure equity is embraced by creating opportunities for equal representation in meetings and encouraging women colleagues to share their viewpoints. By embracing equity, our team is more inclusive and the diversity of thought results in adoption of approaches that benefit the wider business. 

Bane Gaiser, Regional Chief Executive, U.S. East & Latin America

Simply put, women should have opportunities based on their skills, experience, and potential. Yet when we look around us, specifically when we look at women in leadership, we see that this has not always been the case. I take personal accountability to work to turn that tide by ensuring that we are on a path to bringing women into the leadership positions that they deserve. Our leadership teams should reflect the communities where we live - and they will. 

David Gan, Chief Legal Officer

The best legal teams embrace equity, knowing that fostering diverse voices sharpens the quality of their work and creates a workplace where teams feel empowered to learn, innovate and thrive. We are no exception. Our continued efforts to support and recruit women have made the AECOM legal group one of the world’s strongest, with leading women professionals among many of our recent major hirings and promotions, including the legal chiefs of our Australia and New Zealand, and Canada regions 

Emily Gepner, Global Capabilities Officer


At its core, equity is about recognizing that we all need access to different resources and opportunities to reach the same destination. Within Enterprise Capabilities, we endeavor to build more diverse and inclusive teams, examining every barrier and imbalance to address and eliminate inequities before they happen. We do this by empowering our early career professionals and providing equal opportunities for them to develop. At the leadership level, we carry out blind reviews when considering promotions. I’m committed to implementing more equitable actions - on International Women’s Day and every day. 

Karl Jensen, Executive Vice President, National Governments

At AECOM, International Women's Day is not just about celebrating the achievements of women, but also recognizing the invaluable contributions of female employees in our industry. From designing structures that shape our cities, to solving complex technical problems, women in our industry have been breaking barriers and shattering stereotypes. We’re proud to celebrate their creativity, intelligence, and resilience on this special day and beyond. 

Drew Jeter, Chief Executive Program Management Global Business Line 

I believe life is a team sport, involving families, communities, nations, and different types of people pulling together to do good. On International Women’s Day, I recognize the irreplaceable contributions of women to the many great teams I’ve been a part of during my life. At every stage of my career, I’ve been blessed to work with colleagues that have honored the many identities and characteristics that make the world such a rich, diverse, and wonderful place. And it’s those experiences that compel and inspire me to be a vocal advocate for inclusion, champion for diversity, and defender of equity. 

Gaurav Kapoor, Chief Financial Officer

In order to truly make progress on any initiative, we must be focused and intentional. Meaningful progress is not possible if we simply stand by to let it occur. That is why International Women's Day is a great reminder for us all to recommit to embracing equality both in our personal and professional lives. As a company, we have instilled equity, diversity and inclusion into our Think and Act Globally strategy, and I am proud of all the progress we have made to date to promote the excellent women in our company and our industry. I am excited for what more we can achieve together. 

Dean Savins, Chief Financial Officer & SVP Operations, International

Our Finance teams are geographically, culturally and, yes, gender diverse, and it’s this diversity that enables and drives our success. Whether in London, Dubai or Delhi, or in Sydney, Shanghai or Auckland, our teams can bring their unique perspectives and skills to their work knowing they are supported - and that support can look different depending on one’s role, culture and circumstance. On International Women’s Day, words of course matter, but it’s action, taken by each of us, that will truly help create the equitable world we all want—and deserve. 

Beverley Stinson, Global Business Line Chief Executive, Water

Few resources have a greater impact on equity than water. As we cultivate inclusivity and opportunities across our teams, we seek to do the same in our work by addressing essential water and sanitation needs and mitigating against the impacts of climate change. On International Women’s Day, I embrace equity by championing the creation of a modern, resilient and equitable future that enables everyone to thrive - whether that’s at AECOM or in the communities we serve. 

Frank Sweet, Global Business Line Chief Executive, Environment

When we #EmbraceEquity, we all thrive together. Equity is not just the right thing to do morally, it is what enables our teams to be the highest performing they can be. That has been my experience over my career, where it has been apparent that diverse leadership are most effective, especially when women are empowered and fully represented in our teams. I am proud of the progress we have made within our Environment business to promote women at all levels and I know with certainty that it has been a key enabler of our success. 

Sarah Urbanowicz, Chief Information Officer


One way we #EmbraceEquity is by providing all members of AECOM IT with the resources they need to succeed on their own terms. Whether that’s personal flexibility around work schedule and location, a culture of openness around growth and advancement, or simply recognizing and rewarding outstanding contributions, we’re committed to creating a work environment that empowers our people so that they can reach their potential—no matter their gender. 

Warren Wachsberger, Chief Executive, AECOM Capital

International Women's Day is a reminder to double down on gender diversity and equity in the workforce. Having women in senior positions brings a wealth of perspectives, experiences and talents that are essential to driving innovation and growth. When women have equal opportunities to lead, organizations thrive - and so does society. It’s incumbent on all of us to recognize the importance of women in leadership positions. Only then can we create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.

Colin Wood, Regional Chief Executive, Europe

Equity, diversity and inclusion is firmly embedded into our strategic priorities in the Europe and India region at AECOM.  International Women’s Day marks the first anniversary of our Gender Alliance Employee Resource Group, and I have been delighted to see the progress it has made in supporting the businesses in its mission for everyone to thrive, regardless of gender. However, I want to see more women leaders, more women choosing to join AECOM to grow their careers and our gender pay gap reduced. I continue to hold myself and my leadership team accountable to drive further progress and #EmbraceEquity. We are determined to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. 

Hamed Zaghw, Regional Chief Executive, Middle East & Africa


Embracing equity means focusing on diversity, promoting inclusivity and recognizing that everyone has a unique background, perspective and set of experiences that must be valued. It involves taking active steps to reduce disparities and create a more equitable society. Equity, diversity and inclusion is central to all that we do. In the Middle East & Africa, we are one of the most diverse AECOM regions. We comprise over 70 different nationalities, who thrive when they come together to demonstrate our purpose: to deliver a better world. 

Ian Chung, Regional Chief Executive, Asia


Embracing equity starts with an equitable hiring process. But, just as importantly, it also means fostering a safe team environment that recognizes the value of diversity and different perspectives, lifestyle choices and identities. Only by assembling diverse teams and fostering an inclusive culture can we stimulate the creativity and innovation required to deliver complex infrastructure to communities across Asia - one of the world’s most culturally diverse regions.

Join a company with engaged leadership

Committed to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) within the organization and the industry, AECOM is cultivating a work environment that is safe and respectful, where everyone is empowered to bring their unique talents, backgrounds and expertise to bear on some of the world’s most complex challenges.

Join a company where unique contributions are valued.


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