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AECOM hosts special IWD #EachforEqual podcast

AECOM hosts special IWD #EachforEqual podcast

 March 03, 2020

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For International Women’s Day (IWD), AECOM’s EMEA Communications Manager, Ruth Zorko, and UK & Ireland Chief Executive, David Barwell, were joined by EMEA Head of Transportation Consulting, Kate Morris, UK&I Technical Head of Process Engineering for Water, Pascal Harper, and Civil Engineering Apprentice, Turrell Harper, for a special edition of their brilliant Talking Infrastructure podcast series.

Listen to the podcast here.

Attitudes to equality are changing

As well as discussing what the concept of #EachforEqual means to them, the participants considered how attitudes to equality have changed, what more the industry needs to do, and how we can create a truly inclusive workplace.

With each of the podcasts in the Talking Infrastructure series, AECOM has been joined by various spokespeople to put burning topics related to the infrastructure world under the microscope.

Equality, diversity and inclusion have been on the agenda for decades, as businesses have begun to wake up to the fact that the built environment simply isn’t representative of society today.

Opening the podcast, participants introduced themselves using their personal pronouns. This led into a discussion around how these link to self-identity and the importance of language use, a topic which was picked up on several times during the podcast.

Equality as a concept

Conversation then moved on to what the group felt about the IWD theme of #EachforEqual, and equality as a concept. David Barwell highlighted that he really liked the theme, because “it’s broadening the topic,” going on to do the #EachforEqual “pose”, which was quickly picked up by the rest of the group – as shown in the photo.

Discussion continued around the concept of how diversity of people leads to diversity of thought and diversity of skills, which, linking this to the built environment, allows AECOM to deliver the best projects for their clients.

The group agreed that while progress has been made, much work still remained in achieving a more inclusive workplace, defined by Pascal Harper as where you “have culture where [those] people are happy to bring themselves to work, not wear a mask or pretend to be something they’re not to fit a corporate mould. That’s an important aspect of culture that we need to embed as second nature…”

This idea of second nature was discussed in some detail, with the group highlighting the fact that for younger generations, equality was becoming more ingrained, and the challenge was then in re-educating our older generations to make this concept become second nature to them as well.

Roles of allies & unconscious bias

Other topics covered in the exciting discussion included the roles of allies and role models, unconscious bias, calling out bad behaviour, the role of leadership and the importance of celebrating AECOM’s success in their journey towards a more inclusive working environment.

It’s a fantastic conversation that covers a huge range of topics around the IWD theme of #EachforEqual and beyond – give it a listen here.

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