Inclusion and Diversity

Celebrated globally on March 8, International Women’s Day recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. AECOM has devoted the Impact blog to featuring women leaders across the globe throughout the month of March. Join us here as we recognize the accomplishments of our staff around the world, embrace diversity and promote gender parity.

When I was a young graduate, a senior professional at my company recognized my potential and ultimately became my mentor. Although it was very early in my career, this woman’s active and considerate approach to her coaching me left a lasting impression and shaped the way I learned to coach others over subsequent years.

She, and others like her, understood their own personal and professional goals and pursued them purposefully. I believe we achieve our full potential by embracing new challenges and stepping out of our comfort zone, while proactively seeking support from others along the way. When it comes to women, the more we encourage women professionals to seek out leadership roles in their organizations, the sooner gender diversity will become the norm.

Integration of our personal and professional lives is a common challenge, regardless of gender. While the concept is different for everyone, it comes up regularly in discussion with my women colleagues in particular.

I’ve been fortunate to have had managers and sponsors who encouraged me to pursue opportunities for further career development throughout my working life and who have supported me in doing so. I have two young children and working while raising a family is a challenge. AECOM’s flexible working arrangements (especially after my children were first born) have allowed me to spend more time at home with my family while still developing professionally.

The managers and mentors I’ve had throughout most of my career have been men and I’ve received incredible support and encouragement, and never once felt as though I was treated differently because of my gender. Today, I report directly to ANZ chief executive Lara Poloni, and we are two of six women leaders on AECOM’s Australia New Zealand executive leadership team. I’ve enjoyed my experience working with this leadership team and am happy with the change of pace.

AECOM is encouraging the conversation around gender diversity through global and local Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, and I believe that dialogue between men and women, at all levels of the organization, is key to driving any kind of change. Good things take time, but it’s important that we don’t wait for change to fall into our laps — we must keep striving to achieve our goals.

Lang100x89 px_greyscaleAshley Lang is market sector director, oil & gas, ANZ, and client account manager, based in Australia. She is responsible for business growth and overseeing service delivery for AECOM’s oil & gas customers in ANZ. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Engineering and has held various technical, operational and business development leadership roles over her 23-year career. Ashley joined AECOM in 1997.
Ashley Lang

Originally published Mar 4, 2016

Author: Ashley Lang