Accelerating girls management improvement by means of mentorship


This 12 months, for Worldwide Ladies’s Day on March 8, we’re following the United Nations’ theme of ‘Put money into Ladies: Speed up progress’, which is predicated on the UN’s 17 sustainable improvement objectives and is in alignment with our Sustainable Legacies technique.

Observe our IWD 2024 weblog collection to listen to from our leaders world wide about initiatives and packages geared in the direction of investing in girls at AECOM.

Have interaction on this 12 months’s conversations on LinkedIn and X (Twitter).

We sat down with Kate Dunton, Director, Purchasers and Advertising and marketing, Australia and New Zealand and James Rosenwax, Regional Managing Director, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, who’re additionally co-chairs of our ED&I Committee in Australia and New Zealand, to speak about Worldwide Ladies’s Day 2024 and the packages we’ve got in place to help girls’s progress in our Australia and New Zealand area.


Inform us why aligning with the United Nations’ (UN’s) Worldwide Ladies’s Day (IWD) is essential.

Kate: I’m actually enthusiastic about this one. By aligning with the UN’s Worldwide Ladies’s Day theme, I feel we place ourselves extra meaningfully to a worldwide motion. Our function is to ship a greater world, and UN IWD is a chance to align with the neighborhood in accelerating progress in the direction of gender equality on a worldwide scale. It will possibly’t simply be phrases and morning teas – we have to use our organisational context to advertise real gender equality. I’m actually pleased with all we do supporting girls inside our organisation, but additionally in driving extra girls into STEM and in constructing gender equality for minorities and First Nations communities. I really like that the UN’s Worldwide Ladies’s Day recognition serves as a catalyst for a extra in depth, collective effort, and the way it brings consideration to the particular challenges confronted by girls and women globally.

James: Aligning with the UN’s Worldwide Ladies’s Day recognition is essential for us, notably given the theme for 2024: “Put money into Ladies. Speed up Progress,” which shines a highlight on girls’s financial empowerment. We all know that when we’ve got various, inclusive workplaces, our enterprise thrives, so investing in girls and accelerating their progress at AECOM is just not solely the best factor to do however makes sturdy enterprise sense. IWD is extra thana native celebration — it’s a worldwide celebration fostering collaboration throughout borders, emphasizing that no nation has totally achieved gender equality. By taking part in IWD occasions, we actively contribute to advancing gender equality, whether or not by exhibiting up, sponsoring and donating to initiatives, or spreading consciousness. IWD isn’t nearly recognizing achievements and challenges — it’s a collective effort to work in the direction of a future the place gender equality is a actuality for all.

Inform us in regards to the ANZ area’s Advocate sponsorship program for ladies.

James: Advocate is a sponsorship program that I’ve been part of since its inception 5 years in the past. This system is in partnership with an exterior firm referred to as Domesticate, and it pairs our ANZ govt group with high-potential girls staff. Collectively, we take part in a year-long curated mentor program that focuses on honing management expertise, increasing skilled networks, pinpointing areas for skilled progress, and sharing life tales and experiences. Spending time with my sponsee is my precedence, and I discover actual job satisfaction in our relationship. I study quite a bit from my sponsee, and it finally ends up being a two-way relationship. By spending 12 months on this system, we are able to develop personalised connections and concentrate on investing within the improvement of our gifted people. We create a supportive surroundings conducive to profession development and total success. We have now acquired nice suggestions from the ladies which have participated in this system.


Elizabeth Kittoli, Technical Director, Buildings

“Once I discovered I used to be nominated, I used to be excited. I used to be initially barely uncomfortable simply because, to some, this may seem to be preferential therapy for ladies. However girls, they don’t essentially get the identical kind of sponsorship, particularly into management roles, as males do. You get to make connections, community, and simply total entry to the senior management group.”

Kate: In my three-year journey as a sponsor in AECOM’s Advocate program, I’m frequently stunned by what I personally get from it. I’ve established a number of long-standing and mutually helpful relationships – dare I say, friendships! Working in a predominantly male business, this program has pressured me to acknowledge the necessity to handle natural male sponsorship bias, and I’ve reassessed my sponsorship method – I feel I’ve change into much more intentional and acutely aware of the surroundings that girls work in and the alternatives they’re afforded. We have to sort out many different ranges of variety, however creating a powerful and profitable girls management pipeline and offering glorious alternatives to our highest-performing girls is extremely rewarding.


Amanda Kerr, Space Supervisor – Hunter

“I had beforehand lacked the arrogance to have interaction and type efficient relationships with senior administration throughout the enterprise.  Spending time with Kate and being uncovered to the broader management group, taking part of their conferences, helped me notice that I do have the related expertise to contribute. I additionally carve out extra time for purchasers and technique.”

What different steps is AECOM taking to embrace gender fairness, or what has impressed you most thus far?

James: We’re dedicated to advancing gender fairness inside our group and have developed a complete gender fairness technique.

In tandem with our efforts, we’re actively working to problem and disrupt prevailing gender stereotypes and norms. Our overarching aim is to domesticate a company tradition that isn’t solely equitable but additionally versatile for people of all genders.

In pursuit of our dedication, we’ve got applied participation targets, each globally and internally inside ANZ. These targets, publicly reported to the Office Gender Equality Company for transparency, align with our imaginative and prescient of reaching a gender-balanced workforce, the place 40 % of positions are held by girls, 40 % by males, and 20 % by people figuring out exterior the binary. This intentional method ensures measurable progress towards our aspiration of fostering an inclusive and various company surroundings.

Kate: I genuinely assume AECOM is dedicated to creating an surroundings the place girls thrive, and I really like that we’re investing considerably in packages that empower girls. I wouldn’t have caught round so lengthy in any other case! Our gender fairness technique consists of initiatives such because the Advocate sponsorship program and our mCircles community, which brings collectively girls from throughout profession ranges to swap recommendation, attend improvement workshops, and discover job alternatives inside AECOM. I’ve been a member of mCircles for a few years, and I’ve established nice relationships, acquired good help, and discovered quite a bit. We’re teaming up with organizations like Work180 and The place Ladies Work to not solely encourage extra girls to affix us but additionally construct a strong community of girls expertise. I’m additionally proud to have participated within the improvement of an express framework of inclusive hiring and remuneration assessment practices.

And, in fact, our Freedom to Develop framework provides us all the flexibleness to work in a method that fits our lives and profession improvement. This has allowed my life and household to (largely!) steadiness properly over a few years.



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