Home    AECOM    Insight

AECOM International Women in Engineering Day podcast rocks

AECOM International Women in Engineering Day podcast rocks

 June 21, 2019

 Read time

Where Women Work is hugely excited about the latest episode of AECOM's brilliant Talking Infrastructure Podcast.

James Banks and Roma Agrawal are joined by AECOM’s Chief Executive, EMEA, Lara Poloni, and founder of the award winning 'Built by Us' social enterprise, Danna Walker.

It's a super conversation and you can listen to it right here.

The Big Question: How do we prepare our engineers for the future?

AECOM INWED engineer talks

Opening the conversation, Lara Poloni emphasises the importance of looking beyond just engineers when discussing the future, instead considering the full spectrum of workers working in the built environment. Going into the skills needed, she stresses the importance of forming partnerships and collaboration “I think we’re certainly recognising that there is a very strong digital technology component… it will mean all of the technical experts will need to work increasingly alongside data scientists.

“Collaboration is the name of the game in terms of successful planning and delivery of these projects for our cities. Many more partnerships with the communities in which we live, with key government agencies, and with local and international partners that can help us deliver these projects.”

Discussing her own career, Danna Walker describes how perceptions of her 'unusual choice' spurred her on "I didn’t know what a portfolio career was when I started. I left a girls school at 16 and thought I’m going to be an electrician, because I wanted to work…. It was incredibly unusual, lots of people looked at me like as if I might have lost the plot; there were so few women at the time doing similar roles at the time. It was seen as something incredibly unusual for a young woman to do. However, for me that actually made me want to do it more; I think it allowed me to see construction in a completely different way."

Diverse teams drive innovation

AECOM INWED engineering women

"It's an amazing industry," Danna says, gazing through the window of AECOM’s Aldgate office at the construction site next door. "There are so many incredible structures going up, but there is a huge part of our society that isn’t encouraged to be part of that making, that creating, that debate about the built environment…."

Education and Industry must work hand in hand

"We need to provide the next generation with the 'Digital Smarts' to be able to anticipate what’s next and what can be further realised on that front," says Lara, but it’s not just the technical skills that our future workforce will need Lara continues…

"As we've both been saying we need to continue both in education and in the work place to enable people, and skill them up to drive collaboration, engagement and listening. All of which work very well together in a very complimentary manner on top of the base technical skills which will remain fundamentally important."

Listen to the full podcast here.

AECOM - INWED - women in Engineering Day

Women engineers are welcome and supported at AECOM

Imagine being part of collegial teams where the strengths, experience and talents of women are truly valued and celebrated.

Sound brilliant? Then search and apply for where your engineering career might take you

Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

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


Join our women's careers community