Bridging the gender gap with Aurecon
There is a lot of exciting progress in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry, with leading employers like Aurecon at the forefront. This engineering, design and infrastructure advisory company set their sights on improving gender balance in their workforce, with tangible results.
The Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry, as a whole, has the fourth highest gender pay gap in the Workplace Gender Equality Agency dataset. However, many employers are determined to make a change, with the industry making significant improvements across the board on gender equality policies and strategies in the past year alone. Aurecon is one of these organisations.
With a high demand for technical and STEM skills in Aurecon’s market, they saw a need to connect with an underutilised talent pool: women. In 2017, women represented 29% of Aurecon’s total workforce, with much lower percentages at middle and senior levels.
Aurecon’s most senior leaders, Global CEO William Cox and Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Louise Adams, prioritised diversity and inclusion in the business’ strategy through language, action and investment. Their aim was to improve the gender balance of its workforce, particularly in professional roles, technical roles and in leadership positions.
In the three years since implementing their strategic plan, they have achieved fantastic results, including:
- Reaching their national workforce target of 35% female representation by 2019 and adjusted the target for 2021 to 40%;
- 238 women have completed the Ascend program, a leadership program designed to empower and support Aurecon’s high potential women, of which 42% have since been promoted from 2017 and 2018 intakes;
- 88% of Aurecon’s female employees and 91% of male employees say they have the flexibility they need to manage work and other commitments;
- The proportion of paid parental leave taken by men has increased from 7% to 40% since the new policy was introduced in late 2017.
Lauren Thompson, Systems Engineer, says “I work in a male dominated field, but the leadership team really embodies Aurecon’s focus on diversity and inclusion. At Aurecon, I haven’t experienced many challenges being a woman in a male dominated workforce and that’s not by accident. The efforts that Aurecon is putting in to inclusion and diversity, including having leaders who really believe that it is an important business issue, is really making a difference to the culture.”
You can read more about what Aurecon are doing to improve gender equality in their case study on our website.