AECOM in UAE welcomes most diverse intake onto its Professional Development Program (PDP) in the scheme’s history


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AECOM sees equal gender split on development program in UAE

AECOM sees equal gender split on development program in UAE

Prime employer for women, AECOM, is celebrating after welcoming the most diverse intake onto its Professional Development Program (PDP) in the scheme’s history.

AECOM’s PDP has attracted a graduate intake comprising nine different nationalities and an equal gender split in the UAE business. In Bahrain, which has been offering the PDP since 2016, the gender split is not far behind – at 40 per cent female and 60 per cent male.

Part of a wider inclusion and diversity plan

To ensure the best candidate for each role while retaining a focus on diversity, AECOM’s search for the programme encompassed universities across the UAE as well as Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, India, Russia, Italy and the UK, and focus was given to promoting the company’s culture and corporate responsibility activities.

In addition, AECOM strives to have female representatives at all graduate recruitment events while recruitment campaigns showcase the diverse background of past graduates. The company has also highlighted the achievements of its female engineers via online and print editorial.

Diverse team members are key to success

“For 2018 and 2019, females comprised 45 per cent and 48 per cent respectively of the graduate intake, so we knew an equal split was in reach. Increased focus by our recruiters allowed our hiring managers to interview a portfolio of different candidates against each role. This ensured we are not hiring diverse candidates for the sake of it, but that they are the optimum fit for the role itself,” said Beth Cowper, Talent Acquisition Lead, Middle East & Africa, AECOM.

Hamed Zaghw, Chief Executive, Middle East & Africa, AECOM, added: “The ability to draw on the skills of a diverse range of people from a variety of different backgrounds is vital to our success as a business and the projects we deliver. Greater diversity leads to better outcomes, encouraging innovation and creativity. The graduates joining us this year have meaningful roles on a range of vital, complex and innovative projects, and none of this work is gender specific.”

A programme that bridges the gap

AECOM’s PDP is designed to bridge the gap between formal education and the workplace. The two-year program equips graduates with the necessary skills to kick-start their careers. Comprising a range of core competencies, mentoring and training, graduates take part in site visits as well as social and networking events contributing to their professional growth and development.

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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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