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.

I am really proud to be part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebration. One significant focus of AECOM’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts is gender diversity, but we still have a long way to go — especially considering the representation of women in senior leadership roles across our industry. I believe the onus is on us to make a change, and there are several ways we can do so.

AECOM calls for us — those who desire progress and more responsibility — to lead, and my own success is proof that we take diversity matters seriously. Having joined the company nearly three years ago, I can now look back and say with confidence that the opportunities available at AECOM for progression and growth are profound. I started as a business developer and then transitioned to client markets for EMIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) before being promoted in January to managing director for all operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In this function, I am responsible for leading different business lines, reaching global end markets and overseeing more than 350 people within our region.

The possibilities and opportunities for growth exist, but what I have learned is that, in a lot of cases, employees can benefit by pushing themselves to take risks and pursue the next step in their career. In any organization like ours, there is hidden talent that must be pursued—and we help ourselves by being assertive and confident.

AECOM has shown that it believes in the merit of our workforce. Leaders can encourage our people to reach their full potential by reassuring those potential leaders to assert themselves — don’t hide! If you feel like you’re not being recognized for your success, what can you do to make sure others can see your accomplishments? Have an open dialogue with your manager, make sure he or she knows your aspirations and the areas in which you want to develop and grow.

Remember: Take pride in yourself, your work and your achievements. In the words of “Naked Leader” author David Taylor, it’s “your future — take it or lead it.”

Birgit_hs_89x100Birgit Guhse is managing director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and a passionate professional leader. She loves to work with people with different backgrounds, cultures and areas of expertise, and enjoys seeing them grow and progress. To manage a work-life balance, Birgit draws energy from her family and outdoor sporting activities.
Birgit Guhse

Originally published Mar 28, 2016

Author: Birgit Guhse