AECOM leaders visibly champion gender equality through innovative crowdsourcing initiatives
July 23, 2019
Raising awareness about gender equality can require reinforcing messages far and wide.
For International Women's Day (IWD), AECOM adopted an innovative crowdsourcing approach that involved significant support from the company's senior leaders.
Worldwide, AECOM held a staggering 140 IWD related events across 22 countries spanning their various markets and sectors.
AECOM is well-aligned with IWD's mission
The company is committed to driving change for women, building diverse teams and creating an inclusive environment where all its employees can reach their full potential.
AECOM’s activity for IWD therefore sought to build upon the work and actions already underway throughout their existing global and local diversity and inclusion efforts by demonstrating how the company's activity is helping create greater gender balance.
AECOM also sought to highlight how efforts from all employees are needed to collectively help forge women's equality.
AECOM's activities therefore focused on the following principles:
- creating an environment where all employees can reach their full potential
- demonstrating a commitment to valuing and advancing women as part of the company's global inclusion strategy
- encouraging and supporting employees and leaders to be engaged in action that helps drive a #BalanceForBetter
- driving positive change for women across AECOM’s global workplace
- empowering their employees to drive IWD celebrations
An engaging mission
AECOM understands that by recognizing the contributions of women, advancing them into leadership positions, serving as mentors for others, and identifying and combating unconscious bias, the company is helping to create a #BalanceforBetter.
The company created a special IWD microsite to engage external audiences featuring key messages, engaging content and resources.
AECOM Chairman & CEO, Mike Burke, shared his commitment to building a more gender-balanced world by releasing an Influencer Statement.
Lara Poloni, AECOM's Chief Executive for Europe, Middle East & Africa, recorded an internal video message outlining the progress AECOM has made when it comes to eliminating gender inequality in their business, and what the company still needs to achieve in order to reach the equal balance AECOM aspires to.
AECOM also shared 11 IWD quote cards across their social media channels to honor the social, economic and political achievements of women. Here are some examples.
Engaging content to reinforce key messages
Further awareness regarding women's equality was raised by AECOM sharing nine IWD-related inspiring stories on the company's blog. These stories were authored by specific employees who champion the advancement of women and work to inspire future generations. The blogs were also shared on the company's social media channels.
Kicking off AECOM's IWD content campaign was Patrice Graves, AECOM Senior Vice President of HR, with a blog, “Awareness months are catalysts for action.” Anita Woolley Nelson, AECOM Senior Vice President of Strategy, Marketing, and Communications, penned the piece, “Embracing diversity is not just the right thing to do, it’s good business.” Read the further articles here.
The company also released an article entitled When Women Lead that focused on four senior leaders at AECOM - Kelli Bernard, Executive Vice President; Carla Christofferson, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer; Mary Finch, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer; and Heather Rim, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer - in terms of how they are driving balance for better.
AECOM also released two further articles on the Where Women Work website that celebrated the company's focus on, and support for, women:
Innovative crowd-sourcing approach to deliver IWD activity
To increase employee participation and engagement in its IWD company-wide activity, AECOM adopted an innovative crowdsourcing approach. This approach empowered its employees to be as innovative as they sought to be in addressing and supporting IWD activity at a local level.
Extensive guidance and advice was provided by the company upfront via an IWD Playbook, Ideas Book, Ways to Engage documentation, IWD Selfie Cards and Posters.
Further support material was provided via the company's intranet regarding: Mentoring; Sponsorship; Speakers and Quizzes; Discussion Panels; Recruiting; External Partnerships (e.g. Where Women Work); Virtual Activity Tips; Unconscious Bias; Unwritten Rules in the Workplace; and Community Groups and Associations whose focus is on advancing girls and women.
AECOM's innovative crowdsourcing approach saw more than 140 IWD-related events delivered across 22 countries and attended by more than 4,400 employees.
The company created a Photobook where employees could upload photos of their IWD activity and this saw over 106 photos formally submitted.
AECOM adopted the IWD campaign theme company-wide. For example, their Design Consulting Services in America's (DCSA) produced an internal video titled “Leading the Charge for #BalanceforBetter at AECOM". The company's Dallas office kick-started their IWD celebrations with a #BalanceforBetter display that highlighted the theme of balance by depicting a purple gender-neutral person with a set of balancing scales on their shoulders and balls spilling out with pledges written on them. Finally, the colour purple was used in a variety of ways from purple tablecloths, doughnuts and cakes, to signs and posters, and purple clothes, scarves and balloons.
Employee collaboration was key
AECOM's hugely successful and expansive IWD campaign shows that with the collaborative support of every employee and their senior leaders - and a touch of innovation - any company can champion gender equality in an impactful way.