Embracing equity in our workplace and communities
In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8 we are sharing how we #EmbraceEquity not only in the workplace but in our work. Get an inside look at how our teams are embracing equity through their projects and positively impacting the lives of women as well as underserved communities around the world.
Follow this year’s conversations on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as the AECOM Blog.
We are celebrating International Women’s Day this year by recognizing the remarkable achievements of women in our industry and lending our voices to bring awareness to the challenges women continue to face around the world.
For us, #EmbracingEquity 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.
The benefits that come from diverse and inclusive teams, both organisationally 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.
Across our company, we’ve improved gender diversity of our workforce. Women comprise 19 percent of our leaders, which puts us close to achieving our near-term target of 20 percent. We are also making progress towards our goal of 35 percent of our overall workforce being women—we’re currently at 33 percent. 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.
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.
What’s more, it’s not just about hiring more women. We need to support them throughout 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.
When our employees thrive both personally and professionally, they deliver their best for our clients and better social outcomes in the communities we serve. We establish partnerships with small and minority-owned businesses in our projects and make strategic community investments that benefit society and generate opportunity. For example, our work on the Arthur Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx, New York is improving community access to waterfront recreation areas, and our Safe Places Initiative is helping counter inequities and create more inclusive public spaces in Sydney, Australia and beyond.
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!