AECOM’s Australian business has been recognised by the Workplace Gender Equity Agency (WGEA) for driving positive change through its commitment to gender equality.
The premier fully-integrated infrastructure firm is one of just ninety organisations across Australia to receive a citation recognising its sophisticated, holistic approach to supporting women and men’s equal participation in all levels of the workplace.
Starting as a young urban planner over 20 years ago and rising to become AECOM’s first female chief executive, Lara Poloni knows first-hand the challenges faced by females trying to build a career in the infrastructure sector, “Every year the bar is being raised in terms of workplace equality. Unfortunately, for years the infrastructure sector has lagged others in terms of gender diversity and equality, and we’ve really being playing catch up,” said Ms. Poloni.
“At AECOM we’ve worked hard over the past year to meet and exceed WGEA’s rigorous standards, so this is a real moment of pride for every one of our 2,800 team members across Australia. I’m proud to say we are now one of the organisations recognised for best practice in driving gender equity, but it’s a journey and we still have a long road ahead.”
AECOM Human Resources Director and executive team member Helen Fraser, who developed AECOM’s gender diversity strategy alongside members of AECOM’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Panel following a detailed gender pay gap analysis, recognised the complex nature of creating a truly equitable workplace.
“Workplace gender equality is such a multi-dimensional issue, but one we are totally committed to living every day,” she said.
“At AECOM, this hasn’t just been a top-down initiative; it has permeated every aspect of the business, with all team members recognising the benefits of a truly equitable workplace and playing their part in helping to achieve that. Our people are proud to be part of an organisation that is leading change.”
“Whether that’s senior leaders mentoring the next generation of female leaders, tackling pay equity, creating fully flexible roles or introducing domestic violence leave, the key is to be relentless.”
WGEA Director Libby Lyons congratulated all of the 2015 citation holders for their initiative and commitment. “These employers are at the front line of driving positive change as they set the gold standard for inclusive workplaces,” she said.
AECOM has measured the gender pay gap across all levels of the business and is implementing a number of strategies for addressing pay inequality at the point of hire, salary review, promotion and during parental leave stages. The company’s successful m-Circles mentoring program has helped all female employees to access senior male and female leaders, skill development and expand their professional networks.
About the citation
The WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation is designed to encourage, recognise and promote active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces. The EOCGE citation commenced in 2014, replacing the predecessor citation, the EOWA Employer of Choice for Women. The citation is strategically aligned with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Act), reflecting the change in focus of the legislation to promote and improve gender equality for both women and men, while recognising the historically disadvantaged position of women in the workplace.
The EOCGE citation is a voluntary leading practice recognition program that is separate to compliance with the Act. Criteria for the citation cover leadership, learning and development, gender remuneration gaps, flexible working and other initiatives to support family responsibilities, employee consultation, preventing sex-based harassment and discrimination and targets for improving gender equality outcomes. Criteria are strengthened each year to reflect best practice.
Additions for 2015 include:
- A formal strategy or strategies to support gender equality overall (that covers recruitment, retention, performance management, promotions, succession planning, training and resignations)
- Evaluating progress against the gender equality strategy
- Remuneration gap analysis including base salary by gender and total remuneration, with actions taken tracking the number of women and men returning from parental leave
- Tracking progress towards achieving targets to improve the representation of women gender representation targets for internal and external recruitment shortlists
- Consultation with employees to capture their views about gender equality in the workplace.
AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies had revenue of approximately US$19 billion during the 12 months ended June 30, 2015. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at aecom.com and @AECOM.
Director, External Affairs, ANZ
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