#IWD, #IWD2022, BreakTheBias, ED&I, Equity Diversity & Inclusion, International Women's Day, Women's History Month

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, and this year’s theme, #BreaktheBias, we are featuring stories from our ED&I leaders across the globe from March 1 – 8. Learn more about how AECOM is breaking the bias for our employees and communities, by following our conversations on LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as the AECOM Blog.

Significant change starts from the top of the executive ladder. Leading by example and understanding that amplifying diverse voices allow for change, I am grateful to work amongst allies, such as the, President of our Construction Management business Jay Badame who makes it his personal commitment to empower and help develop diversity in the construction industry. An active board member for Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) and executive sponsor for AECOM’s Women Initiative Network (AWIN), he takes great pride in knowing that he’s part of an organization that celebrates and advances diversity.

I began my career in the construction industry at a time when men dominated all leadership positions and women served as an executive assistant or administrative assistant. As Director of Community Relations for AECOM Tishman, I am seeing the growth of diversity with more people of color and women within the workplace, which includes the office and project sites. While we have been guided by goals through the years for public works projects, our business has taken a more aggressive approach in fulfilling positions that include professional and technical roles. AECOM is committed to #BreakTheBias by leading initiatives and activities that are focused on people of color and women through promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Through strong leadership and allyship, our Construction Management business’ culture is taking off to greater heights through promoting and hiring intelligent, strong, and powerful people from underserved communities who continue to prove themselves as successful leaders. Our clients have begun to set a new and higher standard for the inclusion of underrepresented groups, which enhances the level of excellence in everything we build. Our employees are curating events where our employees are being seen, heard and represented through conversations and community service.

It is these actions that I am reminded how far our company has come since I began over 24 years ago, and now the future looks bright as we work to retain and inspire diversity through partnering with organizations that support diversity. Again, with construction being such a male-dominated industry, it is not only necessary, but imperative to #BreakTheBias to make our industry more inclusive and create more safe spaces for diversity to thrive in this industry.

Each day I come to work knowing there is always an opportunity ahead to make a difference and to advocate for change with the goal being to recognize marginalized communities for their talents and successes, and not for their identity.

Flora Ramos

Originally published Mar 4, 2022

Author: Flora Ramos

Flora Ramos is AECOM Tishman's director of community relations.