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This year, for International Women’s Day on March 8, we are following the United Nations’ theme of ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate progress’, which is based on the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals and is in alignment with our Sustainable Legacies strategy.

Follow our IWD 2024 blog series to hear from our leaders around the world about initiatives and programs geared towards investing in women at AECOM.

Engage in this year’s conversations on LinkedIn and X (Twitter).

To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, it is my privilege to share the re-launch of Alliance – the Middle East & Africa’s (MEA) women mentorship program for our senior women employees. Each mentee will be mentored by a member of the regional leadership team over a nine-month period.

The goal of the program is to increase the engagement and retention of women professionals across the region and better support their career development. It will also enable our mentee community to interact across AECOM’s regions and end markets, broadening communication and enhancing networking opportunities.

The mentoring program, considered a professional career investment opportunity, will be fully supported by the regional leadership team, not only during the mentoring sessions, but by creating enhanced career opportunities and business visibility for the participants. Creating a dynamic space where our leaders can offer further understanding of business leadership can motivate and instill confidence to strive to that level. It also allows our leaders to learn more about our organization, our people and our culture.

The program facilitates ‘leader-connect’, a concept where AECOM’s women leaders from across the globe are invited to share their professional knowledge and experiences. Recognizing that women face different challenges and have unique needs in the workplace, this program aims to provide actionable advice on how to overcome this, especially in the engineering industry.

The last cohort, before the program’s hiatus in 2022, comprised nine women across varied business lines. For Kamiena Wong, Senior Project Manager, Buildings + Places, the program had an extremely positive impact on her career development.

Kamiena Wong, Senior Project Manager, Buildings + Places

“It has been a very rewarding journey to help identify my priorities and interest areas that support my career growth at AECOM. Based on my interests at work, my mentor exposed me to suitable opportunities that advanced my growth and next steps in the company. I have now started a new role that allows me to develop new skillsets that promote my future growth.”

Jennifer Stables, Associate Director, Civil Infrastructure, was promoted to her current role after the program’s completion. She was mentored by our Middle East and Africa Regional Chief Executive Hamed Zaghw.

Jennifer Stables, Associate Director, Civil Infrastructure

“I enjoyed hearing about his experiences on his path to Regional Chief Executive and learnt more about AECOM business priorities. I really appreciated the chance to have direct, one-on-one conversations and develop a relationship with someone so senior in our organisation. Since the program finished, I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to be engaged more with the senior leadership team.”

Across the MEA region, we actively work to increase the diversity of our business by championing and investing in women’s careers. The re-launch of the Alliance program cements our commitment and is a catalyst for accelerating their growth. By offering these kinds of programs, we contribute to a society that amplifies women’s voices and recognizes the value of the work they do, which can only benefit our work, our communities and our planet.

Craig Thackray

Originally published Mar 7, 2024

Author: Craig Thackray

Craig Thackray is a vice president in AECOM's Environment business line for the Middle East and Africa region.