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Women leaders at AECOM

 May 12, 2016

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Birgit Guhse is Managing Director of AECOM in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where she is responsible for strategic development, financial performance and leading a 350 people strong operational  unit.
“I’ve always had a passion for engineering and new technologies, but essentially I am a people person and thrive on collaborating with people from different backgrounds, experiences and cultures."
AECOM in EMIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) is an attractive and diverse business. The organisation brings together over 18,500 people, working in a network of 200 offices in 48 countries across EMIA, and speaking 112 different languages.
“The value of working for a global organisation like AECOM is that we can call upon international colleagues, and establish a diverse team to solve complex challenges on behalf of our clients.“
Women at AECOM
AECOM is actively encouraging its women to grow their careers and has implemented a mentoring programme – mCircles – designed to empower women to reach their full potential. AECOM offers a supportive and flexible environment with substantial career and development opportunities. Promoting female talent to senior roles is integral to its business strategy and growth.
“The focus on gender diversity is already visible if you consider the Executive Leadership team around our CEO Mike Burke – several posts were recently filled with senior women for strategic positions”, Birgit explains, “Promoting role models is hugely valuable for women to see what is possible and what is achievable."
Increasingly companies are embracing diversity as a business imperative. Birgit acknowledges that this is actually just the first step on an important journey “Inclusion & Integration is the way to success – these components are key to a cohesive environment.“
Women in Leadership
For Birgit, strong leadership comes down to personality, communication and collaboration – it’s these qualities which will produce effective teams and enhance productivity. Birgit has recently implemented “staff talks”, the opportunity for all employees, regardless of level or job function to book a one-to-one with Birgit and discuss any issues, challenges or successes they would like to share.
“This is a great instrument to get people talking, and to open up. It’s hugely valuable on both sides as it means I get a better understanding of the environment and the business challenges we face.”
Birgit is extremely supportive of women who want to progress to leadership roles, and personally mentors talent as part of the mCircles programme.
“I do see differences in the way women tackle new challenges, and occasionally hold themselves back whilst they consider whether or not they are capable” she observes, “To succeed, rather than exhibit self doubt, we must embrace the challenge and see it as an opportunity not a threat.”
Birgit’s passion for supportive and collaborative leadership is representative of AECOM’s progressive culture. This organisation offers some fantastic career opportunities for ambitious women who are looking for leadership roles. Learn more about AECOM and its supportive and flexible working environment here.

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