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AECOM Chief Executive hosts talk at Women in Construction event

AECOM Chief Executive hosts talk at Women in Construction event

 October 18, 2018

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AECOM Chief Executive of Europe, Middle East and Africa Lara Poloni attended the Middle East Consultant's inaugural Women in Construction Event in Dubai. The first event of its kind, it brought together a predominantly female audience of over 100 professionals from across the built environment for an evening of inspiration, recognition and networking.

'Women in Construction' is a resource developed by magazine Middle East Consultant to share the stories of women working in construction to inspire the next generation of women. It will also highlight and discuss a variety of issues and celebrate the achievements of women in the industry.

Delivering society's most complex infrastructure challenges

Lara leads AECOM’s 20,000-strong team across the UK, Europe, Middle East, and Africa working on a range of services to deliver solutions to some of society's most complex infrastructure challenges. Throughout a career spanning more than 25 years, she has had experience in the planning, assessment and development of major transport infrastructure, and worked across both public and private sectors to manage major projects from initial business case development and feasibility through to operations. 

Lara’s first role at AECOM was working as a planner on a major port expansion and redevelopment project. As part of a multi-disciplinary team Lara was excited that she could learn so much every day from the talented people she worked with stating “It formed the beginning of enduring connections with many AECOM colleagues across Australia and New Zealand, my learning the importance of working collaboratively, and of the many directions a career at AECOM can take you.”

As AECOM’s first female Chief Executive, Lara is well versed in the challenges faced by women trying to build a career in the infrastructure sector, but is confident in AECOM’s approach to workplace equality.

“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 Lara. "AECOM recognise the benefits of a truly equitable workplace and plays our 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,” she explains.

Empowering and inspiring women

At the Women in Construction Event, Lara shared insights with the audience into her long-term career in the construction industry, discussed the importance and benefits of gender diversity and highlighted AECOM's own strategies on readdressing the balance and empowering women. Lara also identified key issues that the industry has to overcome to increase gender diversity.

"I was honoured to be part of the Women in Construction event and share my career journey with so many talented female professionals," said Lara. "It was evident that there is a vibrant sisterhood in the region, teeming with women keen to support each other to navigate their careers. There is still so much more we can do to make sure our industry benefits from all this female talent and I look forward to continuing to support this effort."

Join talented women like Lara at AECOM

AECOM offers some fantastic career opportunities for ambitious women. Why not learn more about AECOM and its supportive and flexible working environment. With impressive women like Lara Poloni at the helm, the only way is up.

“Every day, I’m amazed to learn of the challenges we solve for our clients, and the lives we’re shaping and influencing through our work. It’s these exciting challenges that have seen me build my career here, and which make AECOM an exciting and rewarding place to start your career," she says.

As a global organisation which is experiencing significant growth, there's no better time to join AECOM than now.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


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